Care home death shocks staff members

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The co-owner of a Greene County personal care home on Thursday said her staff did everything they could to keep other residents safe from a noxious mix of chemicals last week that contributed to one woman’s death.

Jeanne Carr, 71, died Monday at Allegheny General Hospital of accidental exposure to chemicals and complications from congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary respiratory disease, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office.

Georgetta Stotka, co-owner and administrator of Advanced Personal Care Home in Clarksville, said she and her staff are devastated.

“We’ve all had an emotional meltdown crying because one of our residents died, and they’re like family members to us,” she said.

Ms. Stotka said she left a to-do list for her husband that her brother-in-law decided to help with when he stopped by the home. They can’t afford a maintenance worker, she said, and staff helps out as needed.

The brother-in-law put a drain-cleaner product in a toilet to unclog it, but didn’t know that a staff member had earlier used a snake in the toilet and cleaned up the mess with bleach — and put a small amount inside the bowl to mask the odor, Ms. Stotka said.

The combination caused an odorous vapor. The other woman living in her room did not have to go to the hospital, Ms. Stotka said.

The Department of Public Welfare is investigating the incident.

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