Allegheny County health care facility evacuated; boiler problem blamed

INDIANA TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Residents of an Allegheny County health care facility were displaced for several hours after a boiler malfunctioned and prompted an evacuation.

Emergency dispatchers said crews were called to Consulate Health Care of Cheswick on Saxonburg Boulevard around 11:30 a.m. Saturday when an alarm went off.  The building was evacuated and fire crews detected heat in the walls, leading them to the faulty boiler.

Patients’ families were notified about the problem and asked to pick up their family members. Patients whose families could not be reached were transported to other facilities in the area for temporary care.

Officials said 101 residents were taken to nearby Port Authority buses that had been staged for assistance. Officials said three patients were taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison Township as a precaution for existing medical conditions.

Additionally, because many of the residents have health conditions, a "mass casualty incident" was requested. Consulate Healthcare officials said that  type of request "initiates several protocols within Allegheny County Emergency Services (911 Operations and Emergency Management) and many Emergency Medical Services within the county to provide close coordination of dispatched and staged ambulance units to the scene for potential patient transports."

Residents were back in their building by 6 p.m. County officials said there is no danger and a contractor is fixing the boiler unit.