Shelter remains open for seniors evacuated after Littleton fire

Staff report
Posted 4/8/16

A Red Cross shelter will remain open until at least April 12 as seniors evacuated from their Littleton apartment building await news of when they can return.

"If people evacuated from the …

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Shelter remains open for seniors evacuated after Littleton fire

Posted

A Red Cross shelter will remain open until at least April 12 as seniors evacuated from their Littleton apartment building await news of when they can return.

"If people evacuated from the apartment complex are allowed to return to their apartments before then, the Red Cross will reassess the need for a shelter and will ensure that all people displaced by the fire have a safe place to stay before closing the shelter," states a news release by the local American Red Cross.

The number of residents of Southview Place Towers who spent the night at the shelter dropped from 23 the first night to 14 the second, and it was not known how many seniors needed the temporary home since then. All residents of the 130-unit building at 5820 S. Windermere St. were evacuated after the April 6 fire.

Four residents were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries and smoke inhalation the day of the fire, officials said. The cause of the fire, which started shortly before noon, may not be determined until the week of April 11, according to a city spokeswoman.

Smoke and water damage in the wake of the fire that started on the fourth floor weren't the only things keeping residents out of their apartments. Air-quality tests were conducted in the days after the fire in response to concerns about the building's asbestos. Results of those tests were not immediately available to the public.

The shelter at Littleton United Methodist Church - located just a few hundred yards from the 55-and-over apartment building - is being staffed by multiple agencies and volunteers.

Here is a look at some of the help being provided, according to the Red Cross news release:

-         The Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Knights of Columbus are preparing and serving meals.

-         Red Cross nurses are tending to health needs.

-         Medications and other items recovered by firefighters are available for evacuees to retrieve.

-         Local nonprofit Love Inc. has purchased clothing items for distribution.

-         Members of Littleton United Methodist, 5894 S. Datura St., were providing a variety of services, including entertainment by the choir.

-         The Salvation Army and Red Cross were providing mental-health and spiritual support.

At the apartment building, personnel with the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley were working to retrieve the final two pets from the building the morning of April 9. In all, 27 pets, mostly cats, had been rescued.

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