HOUGHTON - Housing has been set up for the Heritage Manor residents displaced by Friday's fire, but they're still in need of other items.
Houghton Housing Commission Executive Director Sherry Hughes discussed their current status at a press conference Tuesday at the Houghton City Center.
"I just want to thank the community for everything that's been done for all of our residents so far," she said. "It's been amazing."
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Houghton Housing Commission Executive Director Sherry Hughes, Houghton Police Lt. Nick Roberts and Houghton Fire Chief Mike Reynolds, from left, hold a press conference in Houghton Tuesday regarding last week’s Heritage Manor fire.
The 41 residents have been unable to live in the building since Friday's fire, which began in a fifth-floor kitchen area. The cause is still undetermined.
Currently, residents need:
toiletries (tissues, toilet paper, soap)
new bedding for king-size beds
hand towels and bath towels
pet food (cats and dogs)
"None of them are going to have any form of electronics," Hughes said. "Most of them are going with the clothes on their back and that's it."
Donations can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Lakeview Manor, 1401 West Quincy St., in Hancock. For more information, call 482-3252. Items can be brought to the community room.
Monetary donations can also still be sent to the Houghton City Center c/o the Houghton Housing Commission, 616 Shelden Ave., Houghton, MI 49931.
Though residents are moving out of Michigan Technological University's Wadsworth Hall today, all of them have been placed in temporary housing, Hughes said. People are being set up in apartments at Lakeview Manor in Hancock, the Douglass House in Houghton and GardenView Assisted Living and Memory Care in Calumet.
Hughes said a structural engineer was expected to visit the building today to determine when people might be able to return to pick up possessions. She said the hope is for that to happen within two days.
"If that doesn't happen, and it's not safe, we'll have to wait until it is," she said. "... The repairs are going to be extensive that we need, and the cleanup, so we want to get that going as soon as we can."
Houghton Fire Chief Mike Reynolds said he is waiting for a report from a Michigan State Police fire marshal, which may include the cause of the fire.
He said he would release the information as soon as he receives it.
Reynolds said no dollar value for the damage has been determined.
Hughes, Reynolds and Houghton Police Lt. Nick Roberts spoke at the conference, which was also attended by representatives of Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, The Salvation Army, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Hancock Housing Commission, American Red Cross and Houghton County.
Roberts reiterated the need for donations, and also thanked the community for overwhelming support so far.
"We feel we have one of the best communities in the world," he said.