Police said they got a call about patients in distress at the Hollywood Hills site at about 4 a.m. Wednesday.
State investigators from the Florida Office of Attorney General were also at the scene, city officials said in a statement. First responders ordered the nursing home evacuated. He added: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that it was using portable air conditioners and fans".
Senator Bill Nelson said he is asking the secretary of Health and Human Services to look into what happened. The FHCA said of the almost 700 senior homes in the state, about 150 didn't have power Wednesday.
"We're talking about taking care of people, people brought here that have done a good job".
The five women and three men ranged in age from 70 to 99.
The nursing home eventually evacuated all of its patients Wednesday morning at the order of the responding crews.
The rehabilitation center is across the street from Memorial Regional Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the state.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was "absolutely heartbroken" over the deaths, calling the situation "unfathomable".
Wolf said the generator was never delivered to his home, however.
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Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long says preliminary estimates suggested that 25 percent of the homes in the Keys were destroyed and 65 percent sustained major damage. Florida Power & Light said it had provided electricity to some parts of the Hollywood nursing home but that the facility was not on a county top-tier list for emergency power restoration.
The case was settled in 2006 for $15.4 million. The patient's body was instead turned over directly to a funeral home.
Dr. Randy Katz, the medical director of Memorial's emergency department, said at least a dozen patients remain in the emergency room.
"We love the people of Florida and they went through something that, I guess, the likes of which we could really say nobody's ever seen before", Trump said in Naples. The Hollywood Police Department said it had initiated a criminal investigation into the deaths, and two state agencies - the Department of Children & Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration - are conducting administrative probes, as well.
Before the hurricane hit Florida, family members called the facility to find out about the plans for before and after the hurricane. The outage left the center's elderly and frail residents vulnerable to the heat and humidity.
"When you think of the incredible power of that storm, and while people unfortunately passed, it was such a small number", Mr Trump said.
"It is clear that this facility can not be responsible for Florida's vulnerable patients, and therefore the State will stop them from providing care", Scott said in a news release. Three elderly residents were found dead on Wednesday inside the sweltering facility, which had been left without air conditioning, officials said.
In the battered Florida Keys, meanwhile, county officials pushed back against a preliminary estimate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that 25 percent of all homes in the Keys were destroyed and almost all the rest were heavily damaged.