More than a hundred people are living in hotels in the town of Wilkes-Barre after a fire forced them from their apartments.
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — “Extensive” is what officials say of the damage inside the Genetti Complex apartment building on East Market Street.
It caught fire on Tuesday night.
City officials have provided an update on the building, though the cause is still under investigation.
“The building has been flagged under city code as uninhabitable. This means no one can enter. There is limited access by the owner, but it is currently restricted,” said Charles McCormick, city administrator. of Wilkes-Barre.
A man died in the fire. Four others had to be rescued.
More than 120 adults and seven children are now living in various hotels in the city and are being helped by the Red Cross.
Sherry Nealon is the organization’s executive director.
“It’s a very large file, a workload for us. We’ve never had, as long as I’ve been on this for a while, but we’ve never had such a fire and all the victims need places at the same time,” Nealon said.
City officials say it will be some time before people can live there again.
The owner shall review with the city any proposed repairs necessary to bring the property back into compliance with the appropriate code.
“It’s a bit difficult to set a timeframe for this. I’m sure the insurance company and the owner will want to start as soon as possible. They need to present a plan to ensure that the repair work is done correctly. and that plan needs to be reviewed before construction can begin. Whatever is happening with the COVID and supply chain issues, I hope that gets done as soon as possible,” said Butch Frati, Director operations.
The Red Cross and other organizations will continue to assist fire victims for as long as possible.
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