Between 5 am and 6 am on 18 November 2011, two rooms at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home in north-west Sydney caught fire. Up to 100 residents were evacuated and approximately 32 people were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation. There were 11 fatalities.
More than 50 firefighters and more than 100 fire crews, police and ambulance attended the scene. It is believed that the nursing home had working smoke alarms but no sprinkler system fitted to the roof.
In January 2013, new laws were introduced to require the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all existing Commonwealth-accredited residential aged care facilities in New South Wales.
In August 2013, a Quakers Hill Nursing Home night nurse was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the 11 residents, caused by the fire.
Among the coroner’s inquest recommendations were that nursing home staff should be trained in emergency evacuations and doors and hallways should be designed to allow fast movements of beds in an emergency.