Rooms got a little warm, more than 200 fans were deployed, health officials were called out and plans were discussed to evacuate, if necessary, Wilkerson said.
However, the center never totally lost power and electricians were able to wire around the switch and restore normal power four days later, providing at least a temporary solution, he said.
The Claremore Veterans Center also has had its problems.
A physician's assistant was charged with second-degree murder and caretaker abuse after two residents died there last year — one after being scalded in a whirlpool and the other after not being taken to a hospital for several hours after having a stroke.
Tim Potteiger took over as administrator at the Claremore Veterans Center about six months ago and told commissioners some staff members are upset by changes he has made to try to instill accountability and improve things for the veteran residents.
“We have probably four RNs (registered nurses) right now on family leave because they're not liking the changes that we're doing,” he said. “But we're going to win in the end. We've got a good core there.”
Commissioner Curtis “Doc” Bohlman, who is leaving the commission, used his parting speech to take a shot at the decision to ban smoking in the veterans' centers.
“I would vote against taking away the smokes a hundred more times if I could,” Bohlman said.
The centers have adequate ventilation, smoking rooms and outdoor smoking areas so that the smoke poses no threat to nonsmokers, he said.
Executive Director John McReynolds said there are 250 to 260 smokers in the centers.
“We're pursuing smoking cessation classes aggressively at the centers,” he said.