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Two dead, four sick after eating wild mushrooms at Loomis elder care home

By: Associated Press Report
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 (AP) — Two residents of a Loomis assisted living facility have died and four others are hospitalized after eating soup with wild mushrooms, authorities said.

Placer County sheriff’s officials said that Barbara Lopes, 86, and Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, — residents of Gold Age Villa, an elder care home in Loomis — died after eating the soup that had been prepared by a caregiver at the facility.

The caregiver who prepared the soup was among the six people sickened, said Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Reed. The conditions of the four people hospitalized were not immediately known, and their names have not been released.

Dave Wheeler, Loomis Fire Protection District chief, said Loomis Fire responded to two medical emergency calls to the facility for severe flu-like symptoms. He said crews  responded at 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10, to the facility for a call on a male experiencing cramping and diarrhea; and again at 3 a.m., Friday, Nov. 11 for a female with the same symptoms. He said South Placer Fire District transported both to local hospitals.

"Our responders had no idea poisonous mushrooms were involved. The calls seemed very innocent," Wheeler said.

Reed said after deputies were called to the facility Friday they determined the incident was an accident.

“We got a report that some people had consumed some poisonous mushrooms,” Reed said. “We responded out to the facility and interviewed people to make sure there was no foul play. There wasn’t any...It was an accident” Reed said.

Placer County officials referred questions about the incident to the California Department of Social Services, the agency that licenses senior care facilities. A call to the department by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.
A message left on a recording device at Gold Age Villa was not immediately returned.

Joyia Emard contributed to this story