Assisted living caregiver abandoned residents during fire to evade police, authorities say

An assisted living worker in North Carolina stopped helping residents during a fire Wednesday and fled the scene, because he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, according to news sources.

Brandon Shane Parsons, 28, reportedly was one of two staff members on duty at A New Outlook when a fire broke out early Wednesday at the 34-bed facility. He helped some residents evacuate but then abandoned his duties when police arrived, residents told local reporters. Authorities allege that Parsons was attempting to elude police, because there was an outstanding warrant on him for failing to appear in court. 

Parsons later returned, was served the warrant and held on $1,400 bond, according to The Associated Press. Reports did not indicate the reason for his missed court date.

“I think the individual abandoned his responsibility,” Emergency Services Director Russell Greene told reporters. “He neglected these folks. I see a major neglect of these residents by this caregiver.”

Damage at the Taylorsville facility was confined to one room, and residents had returned to the building by Wednesday night, according to local ABC affiliate WSOC-TV. Authorities suspect that a resident intentionally started the blaze.

Reached by phone, a worker at A New Outlook said the facility is not speaking with the press.