HARTFORD (February 27, 2023) – On February 24, 2023 Parkville Care Center and the iCare Health Network team held a Remembrance Ceremony to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Greenwood Nursing Home Fire.
On February 26, 2003 a fire broke out at the then Greenwood Nursing Home at 2:40 AM. Eventually traced back to a resident room, the fire claimed the lives of 16 and injured an additional 23 people. Those who died ranged in age from 18 to 76 and all were from the greater Hartford area. It was six degrees at that time on that night.
At the time much was said about the heroic acts of the nursing Supervisor on duty that night, Marion Schumacher. Marion was mentioned in the New York and LA Times for her bravery. She used a hand-held extinguisher on the flames, evacuated residents and led firefighters to residents in need to rescue.
We cannot say enough in praise of Marion and the many brave staff members that helped evacuate their residents that night and stood with residents and families over the coming days and weeks.
And we cannot thank enough the firefighters from Hartford Fire Department and surrounding communities, the EMS providers such as Aetna Ambulance, Hartford Police, the Red Cross, clergy from Our Lady of Sorrows and the many others that came to help that night.
The event significantly and permanently changed life safety precautions and procedures in nursing homes nationwide. Although the fire long pre-dates iCare’s involvement with the care center, we honor the memory of those lost and engage with way s to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.
Speaker’s at the event included Congressman John Larson, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Hartford Fire Chief Rodney Barco, Andy Maguire and Scott Aronson of the Long Term Care Mutual Aid Program at Russell-Phillips/Jensen Hughes. Father Joseph O’Neil or Our Lady of Sorrows opened the event with a prayer and his recollections of that night, as he was stationed at the Parish at that time and provided spiritual comfort to those in need.
Maria Parks, a nurse at Parkville who has worked at the center for 36 years spoke of her experience and grief. She read the names of those who lost their lives and a poem from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It was also announced that the center courtyard and patio will be renamed in memorial to those lost.