Cleanup, Restoration Underway at Burned Apartment Complex - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Cleanup, Restoration Underway at Burned Apartment Complex

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MISSOULA -

About forty people lost their homes in the Vantage Villa Apartment fire, which destroyed several units in the complex and severely damaged others.

Cleanup and restoration are underway at Vantage Villa, where fire officials are estimating damages at $3-4 million.

Residents are temporarily staying at the Red Lion Hotel in Missoula, but they're hoping to move into a new apartment complex within the next few weeks.

James Herrick lives one floor above the complex where the fire started last Thursday evening.

Herrick said, "It burned into my neighbors apartment, right next to mine, so my apartment didn't burn but it got smoke."

Missoula Housing Authority, an organization that provides low to middle-income housing, owns Vantage Villa.

For now, they've placed the tenants at the Red Lion, and are providing them a per diem until they find a more permanent solution.

"And, it's only been two days and they're giving us another per diem, but it costs a lot more to eat rather than cooking in your kitchen, refrigerator and everything," Herrick said.

MHA officials said the majority of the tenants at Vantage Villa are disabled or elderly.

"Most of the people where we live have handicapped problems," added Herrick.

Herrick said MHA officials are hoping to move many of the displaced tenants into 23 open units at several of their apartment complexes throughout Missoula.

"Probably within the next month, they'll have the majority of people within apartments, but it's pretty comfortable at the Red Lion right now," Herrick said.

And MHA is hoping to salvage what's left of the Vantage Villa building.

They've hired a company called "Servpro," that cleans and restores buildings that have suffered fire and water damage.

They estimate the project will take several weeks to complete.

The Missoula Housing Authority is accepting donations at their office at 1235 34th Street.  Donations of gently used furniture are also welcome although we have not yet located a central collection point.  

If you have furniture to donate please email MHA at:
kpare@missoulahousing.org or
callery@missoulahousing.org

You can also call MHA at 549-4113 ext. 100.

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