Family searches for answers after Fort Macleod senior froze to death
Family members of an 82-year-old man who was found frozen to death in a construction site in Fort Macleod are looking for answers.
Paul Hodges died in March after he was found to have been locked out of the Colonel Macleod Manor, the independent living home where he was staying.
His son Jason says one of his father’s favourite pastimes was watching the work being done on the new lodge that was going up next door.
“He would spend his summer days sitting on his scooter, watching the guys work.”
Paul went out for a walk on the evening of March 31 and discovered that a doorway, connecting the Manor to the new facility was no longer barricaded. He took it as an opportunity to explore a little bit further.
Jason says his father headed to the end of the hallway and stepped through a fire door, ending up outside.
“The problem is as soon as he walked out of the building, the fire door locked behind him. They have construction fence around the whole perimeter and there was nowhere for him to get out.”
Trapped outside, Paul ended up wandering the perimeter, looking for an opening in the fence and desperately trying the doors.
His body was discovered the next day by a passerby.
“I was in shock, I was in disbelief. I couldn’t understand why or what had happened,” Jason said.
He says that before then, the door that his father had used had been blocked behind a huge pile of pallets and boxes.
Jason thinks the material was taken away so that it wouldn’t damage the new flooring that had been put in.
“The day after this had happened, I went back and I have a picture on my phone; they had put up a barricade. As far as I’m concerned, you’re worried about your floor and my father’s dead because of your floor.”
Jason says his family is heartbroken by his father’s death and the horrific way he died.
A spokesperson for Alberta Seniors and Housing says they are aware of Paul Hodge’s death and are looking into the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.
(With files from Terry Vogt)