Four mentally disabled men died inside a home on Norwood Court. The San Antonio Fire Department continues to investigate what started the fire that killed them. But our Trouble Shooters uncovered the history the living facility had with the state.
Nancy Murrah's home on Norwood is classified as a boarding home. So, the state doesn't require her to be licensed. But before the laws changed in 2010, the home was actually considered an assisted living facility regulated by state guidelines. News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal got a hold of the last few inspections the state conducted on the home that revealed several major issues.
"They've been with me for so many years. They called me mom. They were like sons,” Nancy Murrah told us. “It's just really really hard."
For nearly ten years Nancy Murrah has opened her home to mentally disabled residents. Their disability checks paid the rent and, in return, Nancy provided minimal services, just like any other landlord.
"Yes, yes, no problems. Every time it passed. It was fine, everything was fine. I kept it neat, clean, I feed them well,” Murrah answered when we asked her about any past problems.
Up until the laws changed in 2010, Murrah’s home was considered a Type E Assisted Living Facility. So, News 4 WOAI’s Mireya Villarreal requested from the state the last inspections performed on the home back in 2009 and 2010.
Nancy tried to tell us her home was in good shape. But information from the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) tells a different story. The inspections reveal violations that could have put tenants in danger like:
- Failure to maintain the building in good repair
- Evidence of abuse or neglect
- Failure to conduct and document fire drills
- Did not maintain fire alarms or sprinkler system
Fire officials are still trying to figure out if Murrah’s fire alarm or detectors went off last night. But neighbors say they didn't hear anything. Nancy believes the fire started behind the alarm system, in a closet; but she's not sure why the fire alarms never went off. She did tell us she tried very hard to get everyone out once she knew what was going on.
Our Trouble Shooters also uncovered, San Antonio Code Compliance had 15 cases with 309 Norwood since 2005. The owner was cited several times for not meeting minimum housing standards. And just this last year police responded to 309 Norwood 16 times. Seven were disturbance calls and three were missing persons reports.