Sun Sentinel via Getty Images Hollywood Police chief Tomas Sanchez answers questions outside of a Hollywood nursing home that had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power. "We believe at this time they may be related to the loss of power in the storm". He also would not state how long and how much of the building was without power, saying it was part of the criminal investigation.
The deaths are under investigation. Three more were found dead on the second floor of the facility after rescue units were called in.
As a precaution, officials were checking on all of the other 42 assisted living facilities in Hollywood on Wednesday, NBC Miamireported.
More than 5,60,000 residents across 19 counties in south and central Florida are without power, according to Florida Power and Light Department.
Temperatures in Hollywood were expected to be around 86 degrees on Wednesday - but feel about 10 degrees warmer. Eli Pina's 96-year-old mother lives in the facility.
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Hollywood Hill's proximity to Memorial Regional was one of reasons Gail Nova stayed there, her son Jeffrey said, so she could seek care as she needed it.
"I'm very concerned. I'm like a family member to her", he said.
Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jeff Williams told The Associated Press a deputy responded to the the home following a 911 call from what sounded like a juvenile. Five more patients from the nursing home later died at a nearby hospital, they said. "And by the way, that includes the people that live here, because you see the people immediately getting back to work to fix up their homes".
Statewide, 64 nursing homes were still waiting for full power Thursday, according to the Florida Health Care Association. They include 27 in Florida, four in SC and three in Georgia. Utility companies are working to restore power to the battered Florida Keys.
At least six people in Florida died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning from generators, and a Tampa man died after the chain saw he was using to remove trees recoiled and cut his carotid artery.
At least 25 people died when Irma pounded the Southeast earlier this week, including 12 people in Florida. Utility officials warned it could take a week or more for all areas to be back up and running. "Florida is a retirement haven for hundreds of thousands of people that come here specifically for that and we need to make sure they're going to be safe", he said.
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