One Person Killed, 19 Injured in North Carolina Nursing Home Explosion

Investigators searched the ruins of an adult care home Tuesday looking for the cause of a late night fire that killed one resident and critically injured four others.

The fire broke out just after 10 p.m. Monday at Davie Place Residential Care, said Assistant Davie County Manager Beth Dirks.

Dirks said the cause of the fire wasn't yet known. She declined to answer most questions a during short news conference Tuesday morning. About 50 residents were in the home, about 25 miles southwest of Winston-Salem, when the fire began.

"We're sympathetic to the family members, and they have our sincerest thoughts and prayers," Dirks said.

The fire scorched the front wing of the one-story brick building and left gaping holes in the roof, exposing torched furniture and mangled metal.

"I'm just in pieces," said Mary McSwain, a housekeeper at the facility.

Jim Jones, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Human Services, said he didn't immediately know whether the facility had been cited for violations in the past. The department licenses and inspects such homes statewide.

Jones said adult care homes offer assisted living, but not the high level of care offered at nursing homes. "It's a different set of guidelines," he said. "It costs more to be in nursing homes."

Nineteen residents were treated at hospitals, and four remained in critical condition Tuesday at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, Dirks said. The victim was identified as George Minor of Mocksville. His age was not released. Two police officers were also treated for smoke inhalation.

Residents who didn't need treatment were taken to another center in nearby Davidson County.