3 officers shot in Kansas City

Staff works quickly to evacuate more than 70 residents from Olathe care facility after pipe bursts on cold night

OLATHE, Kan. — The residents of Azria Health are still in temporary placements at other facilities Tuesday after a couple of pipes burst Monday.

The pipes affected by the freezing temperatures service the heating units of the building, so Azria Health administrator Christine Tsiames made a quick decision to evacuate her 78 residents right away to avoid a middle-of-the-night disaster.

“We could have had flooding. We could have had no heat. We could have had freezing temperatures,” Tsiames said. “And then what? At three in the morning we are rushing out the door trying to find places for my residents.”

Tsiames and her team had recently made an evacuation plan but had never orchestrated it. So Tsiames reached out to the folks at Villa St. Francis, and word spread fast that Azria Health was in need.

“Within 10 minutes, I got calls from a lot of facilities in the area saying, 'Hey, what can I do? How can I help you?'” Tsiames said. “It is something that gives you goosebumps. You don’t realize, we are a big community. But when this happened, it felt like a small community.”

The 78 residents of Azria Helath are now spread out at a dozen long-term heath care facilities, nursing home and hospitals. Four are with family.

Keeping track of where residents were going and making sure the right medication, medical devices and clothing went with them was a big job.

Staff from Azria have been reassigned to the facilities housing their residents so care won't be interrupted and the residents will feel better with the people they know and count on.

All of the residents at Azria Health have some sort of health condition. They have a memory care center and take care of many Alzheimer’s patients who were more difficult to place because of special security needs.

Residents will be safe and sound in their new temporary homes until all of the pipes in the 50,000-square-foot building are checked and OK, which may be a little longer than anyone would like since Tuesday another pipe burst.