Chester

Senior Facility Damaged by Inferno Recently Cited for Fire Safety Issues

The fire gutted much of the personal care section of the Barclay Friends facility in West Chester, Pennsylvania

The West Chester, Pennsylvania, senior living facility where a massive, five-alarm fire displaced scores of residents and at least 27 people hurt had been issued fire-related citations in recent years, according to state records.

The nursing home section of Barclay Friends also was put on a “provisional license” last November by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), and fined $9,750 in April, the state said. The provisional designation followed fire-safety-related violations, such as failure to maintain smoke doors, and it was lifted in February, records show.

Those injured at the senior facility on North Franklin Street were taken to area hospitals for injuries suffered in the blaze. The entire facility, home to 140 people, was evacuated about 11 p.m. Thursday.

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Firefighters were still dousing hot spots with water 17 hours later.

NBC10’s Matt DeLucia is in SkyForce10 over the fire damage at Barclay Friends Senior Living Center in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The building went up in flames late Thursday night.

The state Department of Health (DOH), which oversees nursing homes, cited Barclay in September 2016 for failure to maintain corridor smoke doors; unsecured oxygen cylinder; and failure to prevent residents’ beds from coming in contact with electrical receptacles.

The most recent survey by state health officials, done in February 2017, led to a citation for "unsealed flexible conduit through the ceiling assembly, at the smoke barrier doors."

The provisional license for the nursing home section at Barclay was issued for health-related citations, a Health Department spokeswoman said.

Barclay Friends, a Kendal Affiliate, is a senior living community that provides professional nursing staff 24 hours a day, meals and other services, according to its website.

The fire is believed to have started in the facility's personal care section. Barclay Friends also has a personal care facility license, which is overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).

A DHS spokeswoman said Friday that Barclay Friends' personal care facility license was in good standing.

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