Residents displaced from Concord fire

March 25, 2008 10:30:35 AM PDT
Nearly two dozen seniors need to find temporary housing after a fire in their apartment complex in Concord on Sunday. But, every single person made it out safely, thanks to the fire department and a number of measures in place, just in case of an emergency.

"Very efficient, very quick response from the fire department and staff," says executive director Peter Nixdorff.

Residents are returning to Chateau on Broadway to see what they can recover from their water and smoke damaged apartments as fire investigators have been checking the apartments gutted by flames. It appears the fire began on a deck.

120 people were evacuated last night. Most of them are back in their apartments at the senior independent living complex, but 20 people will be out for a while.

"I just happen to be in an apartment that has a lot of water damage. Now I'm deciding what to do," says resident Sister Ruth Ann.

"I use a cane, so I went back to my room, opened the door, it was filled with smoke, so I knew I had to get out." says resident Sister Patricia Ann.

Sister Patricia Ann was living near the apartment where the fire began. She walked down four floors. What could have been chaos Sun night, was actually a scene of organization. State of the art fire alarms worked, an evacuation plan was followed, and there was a spirit of cooperation.

"The help is what amazes me. When crisis comes people really come to help each other," says resident Sister Ingrid.

"We help with evacuations. If people are displaced, we help with temporary housing. Then, we do the second step which is recovery," says Carol Crawford with the American Red Cross.

She's working on the long term plan.

"None of our residents were placed in a shelter. We found local accommodations at the Crown Plaza hotel and many of which were able to stay with family and friends in the area," says executive director Peter Nixdorff.

Chateau on Broadway is picking up the hotel bill for those who are displaced. Damage estimates run close to $2 million.

"This is a textbook example of cooperation among the agencies involved. And. the owners of this property, Carlton Senior Living, say they plans to offer commendations to their staff who responded.


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