Carer may be prosecuted over fatal fire

  • 03/08/2015
Carer may be prosecuted over fatal fire

An unqualified caregiver and home-based support agency for a special needs man who died in a house fire while the carer was out getting food could face legal action after being reprimanded by the Health and Disability Commissioner.

A miscommunication in rostering at the Care Group meant the worker was left looking after two clients, as well as his own two-year-old son, during a day in 2012.

The special needs man, who required one-on-one care at all times, along with the other client were locked inside a house while the carer was out getting food with his young son.

During his absence, the house caught fire which led to the 20-year-old man's death while the other client was burned and had to be taken to hospital.

It is not known what caused the fire.

The carer, who had no formal disability service qualifications, was found to be responsible for not providing an adequate standard of service to his charges, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall said in her report.

That shortfall led to the special needs man dying inside a locked house and has led to the carer and Care Group being referred to the director of proceedings for possible legal action.