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Nursing home develops smoking policy after fatal fire 

Jump to full article: Associated Press (AP), 2002-02-27


GRANDVIEW -- A nursing home where a man burned to death outside can admit new patients now that it has developed a cigarette-smoking policy, the state Department of Social and Health Services said.

Grandview Health Care Center had been prohibited from accepting new federally subsidized patients since Robert Rattray was fatally burned Jan. 29. The state lifted the ban Monday.

Rattray, a 56-year-old smoker and cancer patient, was sitting in his wheelchair outside the nursing home when a seizure rendered him unconscious. He suffered fatal burns, although investigators never determined the specific cause of the fire. The Yakima County coroner classified the death as accidental.

Afterward, DSHS said the nursing home's lack of a smoking policy posed a risk to patients.

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