Residents in two dozen units at the Garden Way Apartments were still waiting for their power to be restored after a fire destroyed a maintenance room and an upstairs unit on Christmas Eve.
Most stayed in a motel with two-day vouchers provided by the Red Cross, but some decided to stay, like Leah Lawson. She has one-and -four-year-old boys. She also is afraid to leave because she doesn’t believe repairs will be finished by Thursday as promised by the manager.
“I don’t want to take the chance of losing what I got, so I stayed here,” said Lawson.
She is using a long extension cord to get electricity from a unit in the adjacent building. Some who did move to the motel came back to get belongings on Christmas Day and to empty their refrigerators of spoiled food.
“There is a lot food. A lot of us just went shopping (just before the fire) and then everything’s gone,” said tenant Jane Xiong.
Xiong also does not trust management to make repairs because she and other tenants say maintenance was a problem even before the fire.
Xiong said it is a tough Christmas, especially for the people who had their apartments completely destroyed by the fire.
The apartment manager, through a crack in her door, told FOX40 that insurance will cover the repairs and that power is expected to be restored by Thursday.
Michael Threatt was removing some of his things to his motel room. He said he wouldn’t want to wish the situation on anyone, but he also wants to look on the brighter side, especially on Christmas.
“It could have been worse. Somebody could have got hurt, somebody could have gotten killed. Praise God nothing like that happened.” said Threatt.
He felt in a good enough mood to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.