EAST HAVEN, CT — As a criminal investigation is underway following the fentanyl overdoses by the only two staff members on duty at the Caroline Manor assisted living facility, in a brief interview with East Haven Fire Department Chief Matt Marcarell, he said that the care home is not only in violation of fire safety regulations, it was over capacity and a number of residents had to be moved to different facilities in the state.

Wednesday afternoon at around 3 p.m. a visiting nurse went to the assisted living facility on Clark Avenue to check on a patient and found the manager overdosing on a staircase and another staff member also overdosing in a lower level office. The two were the only staff on duty.

Police said that there was Fentanyl “in plain view.”

Read the full story, and listen to the 911 calls, here.

Meanwhile, as police continued to investigate, Marcarelli said that half of the people at the facility have been moved, some to the Veterans Administration hospital in West Haven and others to a state facility in Norwich.

Find out what’s happening in East Haven with free, real-time updates from Patch.

After the overdoses, Marcarelli contacted the state and the Department of Public Health sent an investigator and “life safety compliance” personnel to the facility, he said.

Part of the building was considered safe, Marcarelli said, and the parts of the building in violation and unsafe is the area from which clients were removed. While he said the original hope was that the facility would come into compliance and residents there would be safe and allowed to remain, that was not the case following the overdoses of the only two staff members on duty Wednesday afternoon; one identified on 911 calls as the facility manager.

Find out what’s happening in East Haven with free, real-time updates from Patch.

According to records and documents provided to Patch by Marcarelli, in an inspection on Aug. 26 by East Haven Fire Marshal/ Deputy Chief Charles A. Miller III, with representatives from the state health department also on site, some 19 fire safety code violations were identified and a letter notifying facility owner Tim Conroy of Higganum was sent.

In a separate letter from Miller, it was noted that “means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.” Marcarelli said that exits were closed and boarded up with sheetrock.

A Patch call to the facility Friday had a person who answered quickly say, “no comment” and hang up.

Attempts to reach Conway were unsuccessful.

To request removal of your name from an arrest report, submit these required items to arrestreports@patch.com.

The rules of replying:

  • Be respectful. This is a space for friendly local discussions. No racist, discriminatory, vulgar or threatening language will be tolerated.
  • Be transparent. Use your real name, and back up your claims.
  • Keep it local and relevant. Make sure your replies stay on topic.
  • Review the Patch Community Guidelines.