Criminal investigation underway after assisted living facility employees overdose, leaving patients with no supervision in East Haven

New Haven

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — State public health inspectors and town fire officials were in and out of an assisted living facility in East Haven Thursday, deciding whether or not its residents were safe there after two employees overdosed the day before and left patients with no supervision.

East Haven Public Safety Dispatch Center received a 911 call just after 3 p.m. Wednesday from a visiting nurse reporting a possible overdose involving two employees at the Caroline Manor Assisted Living Facility at 37 Clark Avenue.

“I’m sitting here on the stairs and the manager of the building is on the stairs and I’m not sure what’s wrong with her,” the 911 caller said.

Upon arrival, police said East Haven Fire Department personnel were directed to a lower level office where they found a male employee apparently suffering from an accidental overdose. They also discovered a female employee suffering from an overdose on the main floor of the facility, according to police.

Police said fire department personnel administered Narcan to both individuals before they were rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital for further treatment. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

Police determined that the visiting nurse who stopped by to check on one of her patients discovered the manager and another employee, who were the only employees working at that time, overdosing on what was later determined to be Fentanyl.

While this was occurring, patients were left without supervision, police said. No patients were injured during this incident.

“What we discovered was a pretty significant amount of narcotics in plain view,” said Captain Joseph Murgo of the East Haven Police Department.

East Haven Police Department Investigative Services Division responded to the scene and seized the narcotics.

The adult assisted living home has 21 residents living there. The fire chief says the facility is only cleared for 16. A surprise inspection conducted by the Department of Public Health and East Haven Fire Marshal Charlie Miller on Aug. 26 uncovered that issue, along with more than a dozen other code violations.

“They were given 30 days to correct, there’s been no progress on that point,” Captain Murgo said.

Captain Murgo said the facility was due to be reinspected on Oct. 6.

Captain Murgo said the Fire Marshal and DPH were notified of the latest incident and are coordinating a response and further investigation.

There is a criminal investigation into where those drugs the workers overdosed on came from.

“It’s concerning because it’s one of our most vulnerable populations that we have. We expect them to get the care they deserve,” Murgo said.

The fire chief says officials are trying to work with the facility owner to come up with some solutions. He says the last resort is moving the people who have become accustomed to living here.

News 8 is waiting to hear back from the owners.

The incident remains under investigation.

This is a developing story. Stay with WTNH.com and the News 8 app as more information becomes available.

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