RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Evacuees from Raleigh’s Thursday fire got their first look inside their homes Saturday morning.
However, it will be weeks before some can move back in — and much longer for many others.
On Saturday, at least 257 residents were allowed back inside the damaged units.
Some people are trying to stay positive.
“Broken glass everywhere. We were on the 12th floor. Our (unit) did pretty good. The exterior glass was cracked. The interior glass was OK, but the fire department had to come in and break all the windows out,” said Jonathan Smith.
People who live in The Quorum Center and The Link Apartments got a chance to get some of their belongings Saturday.
“Just a lot of clothes. My computer,” said David Meyer.
Firefighters escorted them one by one to inspect their homes and retrieve what they could carry.
“Just clothes and small personal items. All the furniture and the electronics and stuff, can’t really do anything with that right now,” Smith said.
People on the opposite side could finally get their cars out.
“I was very fortunate. I didn’t really see any damage on my side. I’m facing the opposite side so I was very lucky,” Meyer said.
But tenants say they’re hearing it will be three weeks to a month for the folks who didn’t sustain damage to their units before they can return long term.
“I think it’s going to be a long time before we get back in,” Meyer said
And those are the luckier ones whose homes don’t face the fire.
“ Only thing we’ve heard is maybe six months to a year, maybe even longer than that. I don’t know. For it to be better, but for us to get back in to get more stuff, I don’t know when,” Smith said.
Smith lives in Goldsboro, so he says he’s among the fortunate ones to have another home to go to.
“Kind of a freak thing. We chose not to get a place at the beach so we didn’t have to worry about any kind of damage from hurricanes or stuff, and we got a condo in Raleigh and ended up with this,” Smith said.
Others are counting their blessings to have friends making guest beds and couches available.
– “I’m very lucky to have her. A place to stay, which is very nice. I know a lot of people didn’t have something like that,” Meyer said.
Link Glenwood Management advised residents to check and see if their renter’s insurance covers hotel costs.