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'Passed out’ caregiver slept while ALF caught fire, Clearwater police say

Three elderly residents were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. They had to call for help because their 55-year-old caregiver was “incapacitated,” authorities said.

CLEARWATER ― When firefighters put out a fire at an assisted living facility on Friday morning, authorities said they discovered a problem with the employee who was supposed to be taking care of the patients:

He was passed out in a reclining chair, according to Clearwater police.

Shadeek Shakoor, 55, was arrested on a felony charge of abuse or neglect of an aged or disabled person.

The incident took place at the Rainbow Manor facility at 2075 Rainbow Drive. A resident called 911 at about 9:30 a.m. to report an emergency. The first fire crew to arrive discovered that food that had been left cooking too long, sparking a small fire in the kitchen and filling the building with smoke.

They put out the fire, authorities said, but three patients ages 72, 82 and 92 were taken to Morton Plant Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Then authorities learned that the residents themselves called for help because their caregiver, Shakoor, was “incapacitated." Firefighters said they had trouble rousing him, that he didn’t seem coherent. He had bloodshot eyes and “showed signs of impairment,” Clearwater authorities said, but it was not known if police tested his blood-alcohol level.

The residents were all hospitalized and reported to be in serious condition late Friday. Shakoor was booked into the Pinellas County jail.