Hudson Malone Towers clean-up could take days -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hudson Malone Towers clean-up could take days

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December 11, 2007

Albany- Nearly 50 elderly and disabled people remain homeless Tuesday because of a fire.

Clean up crews continue to repair fire damage at Hudson Malone Towers. The good news is that 30 of the people who live there are back home. The Red Cross is helping the others, but says its resources are drained.

Their smiles reflected the joy of returning home Tuesday afternoon. Willie Williams spent last night at Merry Acres Motel.

"It's good to be back home well because, I just wanted to come back home," said Williams.

Room 517 where the fire started Monday is a wreck. The kitchen is destroyed and thick smoke damage coats the walls. ServePro Cleaning and Restoration has been working around the clock.

"They've got all of the standing water out of the building," said Dan McCarthy, Albany Housing Authority Director.

Now they're working on the fifth floor, pulling up baseboard and mopping up the mess, but without electricity it's a challenge.

"We're thinking there still may be 25 to 30 apartments that we may not be able to occupy and we're just going to have to work through that," said McCarthy.

It's been a difficult task making sure everyone's special needs are met and medication left behind was replaced.

"One of our volunteers is a R.N. and she immediately went over and started assessing that and made arrangements, contacted the people, the doctor's of some of these people, and took care of that," said Mari McEwen, Southwest Georgia American Red Cross Executive Director.

The Red Cross is trying to meet everyone's needs, but say their organization also needs resources.

"We are in desperate need. We've had so many single family fires this year already," said McEwen.

It could be a day or more without the comforts of home and just the clothes on their backs for the building's west side residents and even longer before fifth floor residents can return.

If you'd like to help the Red Cross deal with this emergency you can donate to them. Call them at (229) 436-4845.