Roanoke Fire Victims Recovering

Roanoke, VA - Most of the residents forced out of their home by fire Wednesday are resting easier tonight. Inspectors have cleared 37 of the 45 units affected at the Stratford Village Apartments, allowing the residents back in. In all, 47 people had to find somewhere else to sleep Wednesday night. The Red Cross closed their temporary shelter, at the Roanoke Civic Center, about 9:30 a.m. Thursday after crews worked through the night getting the apartments ready for the eager residents to return. For 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 Fire Victim Deborah Long. We first found Deborah Long, and 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," Long said. Finally, she was on her way back home. Most of the apartments have passed inspection. The others could take another week. 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. Complex Co-Owner Lucky Fekas said the 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," Fekas explained. "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 fire victim Don Barnett.