Raleigh residents displaced by fire work to put lives back together
Posted March 22
Raleigh, N.C. — As investigators continue to comb the scene of the fire in downtown Raleigh, residents in nearby buildings who were displaced by the smoke and water are working to put their lives back together.
From the ground, the Quorum Center does not look that bad. But on the inside, many families’ homes are destroyed.
Sherri Henderson lives on the ninth floor. She brought boxes with her on Wednesday as she once again climbed the steps to collect what she could.
"The first time was the worst because we didn't know what to expect, but we knew it was going to be bad," she said.
Her floors were soaked. Her walls were wet. Soot covered the furniture, and there was water in drawers.
"Every other time we come up, we are just on work mode. We see what we are going to do and get the task list done," Henderson said.
The biggest reminder of the fire is the plywood filling the holes where the windows used to be.
"The rubber got so hot on the outside of the windows that the windows just collapsed. They didn't burst, it wasn't a loud noise, they just couldn't hold their own weight, so they just collapsed," she said.
When the windows went, so did the Hendersons.
"I walked back through and went, 'We gotta go,'" she said.
Despite what they lost, Henderson said some of the family's most priceless positions were spared.
"...All of my photo albums. They're intact, they're not wet at all, so I'm very happy about that," she said.
Now, she and her husband are ready to move forward.
"It's a little bit easier now because we know it's pretty much, there is not much we can do to save our place, but we can rebuild it," she said.
Residents of the Quorum learned at a meeting on Tuesday that they will be allowed to move back into their condos as they are repaired. They will not have to wait for all 37 units to be fixed.