Sac Metro Fire Will Inspect Small Home Care Facilities with New Grant

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY--

In the event of a fire, Barbara Stevenson knows exactly what to do, "get up and get out of the way... either go out that door or this door," but that is easier said then done at 93.

Stevenson is a U.S. Navy veteran who has lived all over the country. Now, she lives in a small home care facility in Citrus Heights called Elite Residential Care.

Wednesday, Metro Fire officials inspected every corner of the facility, which hasn't been inspected since the owners got an operation license from the state more than eight years ago.

And, that's not unusual for a small home care facility, since the state fire marshal is not required to inspect small care facilities. And, local fire departments often don't have the budget to inspect them all.

Metro Fire officials are feeling optimistic after receiving a $470,000 federal grant. In the next year, three hired fire inspectors will visit 900 small home care facilities and large family day cares, checking for fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and proper exits, and ensuring that the facilities are in compliance with state regulations.

"If one person gets saved, don't you think that person's family and loved ones will say this is  the greatest program ever?" Metro Fire Captain Michelle Eidam told FOX40 Wednesday.

Over the weekend, Sacramento City Fire Crews put out a fire at a facility off Roosevelt  Avenue in South Sacramento. Officials say a man inside could not escape. Firefighters tried to pull him out, but he did not survive.

Spokesperson Roberto Padilla told FOX40 Wednesday that city fire officials competently do inspections and follow all state regulations, however, no additional program is mandated.

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