Nursing home residents still not allowed back in

New England Health Center has not been fined in the past three years

SUNDERLAND, Mass. (WWLP) – There are still about 45 nursing home residents waiting to get back into the New England Health Center in Sunderland. The state is now looking into the problem.

A water pipe burst inside the New England Health Center in Sunderland Saturday. They evacuated all their residents.

The Department of Public Health is investigating, but wouldn’t say much more. “DPH is aware of and actively involved in the ongoing situation at the New England Health Center in Sunderland,” said Scott Zoback, DPH Communications Manager in a statement sent to 22News.

The 22News I-Team went through the facility’s last inspection report and the New England Health Center has not been fined in the past three years.

A sprinkler pipe froze and broke on Saturday. The 22News I-Team went into their offices on Monday where a meeting was going on, but we were asked to get off their private property.

Sunderland Fire Chief Robert Ahearn told 22News the broken pipe caused thousands of dollars of water damage, but the residents were all okay. He says it froze due to the conditions in the attic.

“Everybody got out safely and we transported them, it took a couple hours to transport them down there we were doing like eight at a time,” said Chief Ahearn.

The residents were originally sent to the First Congregational Church of Sunderland and then sent to several nursing homes and to Franklin Medical Center.  Chief Ahearn told 22News some residents may be able to get back in later this week.

The town’s building commissioner is also unaware of any prior violations or citations.

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