It’s been 2 weeks since a fire at the Emerson Manor and the response caused extensive water damage to the building, forcing residents and businesses to evacuate. Starting Friday, some of those displaced will return to the building.
The final evaluation of all reports on the testing at Emerson Manor has been completed. Tests were conducted on air quality, mold spores and for asbestos. Air and mold tests show figures that are well within satisfactory ranges, although asbestos testing has identified a few problem areas. Most have been remediated and the remaining issues will be managed shortly.
Residents were told to evacuate and were forced to find temporary housing, but businesses located in the building were also displaced. On Wednesday, Jerry Raines from the Housing Authority announced that the Senior Center, Anchor Bank, Trinkets & Treasures and Hoquiam Shear Artistry can re-open for business as of Friday.
While the businesses are able to return to their locations, much work remains on the rooms and hallways before they are livable. Tenants were allowed to inspect their rooms this week and determined which personal items would need to be discarded. Many mattresses, pieces of furniture and appliances had to be disposed of due to water damage.
The Emerson Manor tenants are predominantly low income, senior citizens, many who have serious health issues, but who struggle to maintain their daily independence.
Anchor Bank set up a fund to assist the displaced tenants called the Emerson Manor Assistance Fund, and to date there is nearly $3,800 in the account.
Chuck Wallace, Deputy Director of Emergency Management, says that more is definitely needed to replace the beds, furniture and personal belongings exposed to water damage.
Only monetary donations can be accepted due to the specific situations of each tenant.
Donations can be made at any Anchor Bank location.