Emergency Shelter Closes After Fire Displaces Residents
Roanoke, VA - Roanoke Emergency Management has closed it's emergency shelter at the Roanoke Civic Center's performing Arts Center as needing residents return home.For these five residents displaced by the fire, there was one thing on most minds as Roanoke emergency personal loaded them up for the ride home."I'm going to take a shower and I am going to sit down in my recliner and we'll probably go to sleep. Won't we, Wendy?" said Deborah Long.We first met Long, and her dog, Wendy, waiting patiently for direction at the fire scene. Then again at the emergency shelter set up by the city -- working with Red Cross and Civic Center management."Everybody was nice. Had good food. Subway, Country Cooking and McDonald's... They all fed us," said Long.Finally, Thursday morning, she was on her way back home. Most of the apartments at Stratford Village have passed inspection. The others could take another week with the unit where the fire broke out could take as long as a month to repair. In all, a $300,000 estimate just for the structural damage."Oh... we were very lucky yesterday," said complex co owner, Larry Fekas.Lucky because this government-subsidized community has many residents who face serious health challenges. "First thing you wonder is anybody hurt. We have a lot of residents, in this particular facility, that can hardly get down the hall," said Fekas. People like Don Barnett... who we also found at the shelter, desperately needing a place to lay. Not the most ideal situation... but sometimes it's the thought that counts most. "Folks at the Red Cross and here at the (Civic) Center have been absolutely fantastic taking care of us. We've been treated like kings and queens and God bless them all. God bless 'em," said Barnett.