The Lemon Grove Care and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home that provides care to patients recovering from strokes, surgery and serious illnesses, has been fined $80,000 by the state of California after a patient died following being severely burned while smoking a cigarette at the home, the California Department of Public Health announced today.

The incident was investigated by the department, which issued the nursing home a “AA” citation, the most severe penalty under state law, and the $80,000 fine. The investigation concluded that the facility failed to protect the health and safety of its residents by not providing adequate resident supervision of the home’s designated smoking area.

The investigative report, which is available online, describes the incident and the nursing home staff’s response in detail.

It describes how the patient, who is not named in the report, used a nylon jacket to block the wind while trying to light a cigarette. The jacket caught fire and the fire spread to the victim’s clothes and body.

A staff member at the nursing home said that the facility’s administrator, Scott Kirby, was in a meeting and unavailable to comment on the fine or the citation.


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