First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Nursing Home Fire Update

Nurse Held Without Bond

THE REGISTERED NURSE WHO WAS arrested and charged for the arson at a Sydney, Australia, nursing home Friday has been identified.  Police have disclosed that Roger Dean, 35, has been charged with murder and arson in the one-story nursing home where he worked.  He had been seen earlier on television news reports as he told the journalists that he had helped evacuate  patients as the fire was raging inside.

Dean had been working at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home for about two months.  He had resigned from his previous job at another nursing home following a dispute with the management.

Dean is shown at the 0:45 mark on this earlier video report:


He has been charged with four counts of murder, but is expected to also be charged with a fifth following the recent death of one of the survivors.  There are still 32 victims hospitalized with 14 of them in critical condition.  Police are not commenting on the specifics of the arson nor disclosing the motive, if any.

9News has the STORY.

*  *  *

Suspect Had Been Interviewed by Police Just Prior to Fire

It has been disclosed that Dean had been interviewed by Sydney police just a few hours earlier in connection with his previous work location.  Co-workers there had filed a complaint against Dean and the officers were investigating it.  While talking to Dean at his home Thursday evening, the officers were called away on an emergency leaving the interview incomplete.  The fire was set Friday morning around 5 am.

The Sydney Morning Herald adds:

The deadly blaze took hold at the nursing home, about 500 metres away from Mr Dean's townhouse, just before 5am on Friday. It is believed one fire was set with a cigarette lighter on bed sheets in an unoccupied room. The second fire was set in a room believed to have been occupied.

At the scene on Friday morning, Mr Dean told reporters: ''I just quickly did what I could to get everyone out. The smoke was just overwhelming.''

Dean pictured outside the fire building sucking in
taxpayer-supplied oxygen during the incident.  (AFP)

However, later that evening he was arrested at Mount Druitt police station after a police inquiry that involved interviews with nursing home staff members.

Police said it was expected to take some time to piece together what happened, after two fires were believed to have broken out in separate wings of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home in the early hours of Friday.

The 100-bed facility had three separate areas for high-care residents, low-care patients and those staying in respite care. There were 87 residents in the home on Hambledon Road when the fire broke out. Two people died in their rooms, while a third died after being rescued from the home. A fourth person died in hospital on Friday afternoon and the fifth died yesterday morning. The bodies of the two residents who died in the home were removed on Friday night.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Comments - Add Yours