They were married 61 years. They died weeks apart after their nursing home overheated

David J. Neal, Miami Herald on

Published in Weather News

MIAMI -- Cecilia Franco, 90, died at 3:45 a.m. Monday, becoming the 13th Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills resident to die from ailments suffered when the nursing home turned into a hotbox following Hurricane Irma.

Franco lived only 26 days after her husband of 61 years, Miguel Antonio Franco, who was among the eight Sept. 13 deaths at the overheated Hollywood Hills facility across a parking lot from Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital. Cecilia Franco, one of the residents evacuated hours after residents began dying, was described by family lawyers as being in serious condition. She died at St. Catherine's Rehab Hospital in Hialeah.

"The Franco and Navarro families are now mourning the passing of their mother and grandmother Cecilia Franco, this on the heels of losing her husband of 62 years, their father and grandfather Miguel Franco, both of whom perished in a horrific avoidable tragedy which should never have occurred," read a statement from Albert Levin, attorney for daughter Margarita Navarro. "Their pain cuts deeply having lost not one but two loved ones."

Navarro filed a wrongful death and negligence suit against Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills Sept. 22.

Three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power – including air conditioning -- residents began dying in the facility.

The nursing home and rehabilitation center is now just a homicide investigation crime scene after the state revoked the facility's license on Sept. 20 and the facility laid off all 245 workers the same day.

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