An electrical fire burns in the hotel on Lima Road; displaces 22 residents
FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – A fire started at a hotel along Lima Road Tuesday morning due to an electrical problem.
The teams were called shortly after 8 a.m. at the Hawthorn Suites hotel located on Lima Road between Coliseum and I-69. This hotel is an extended stay, with many residents living there for years.
The fire affected 22 residents. Some now find themselves without food, homelessness, or both.
Lance Perlich has lived at the hotel for extended stays for the past four years and woke up when firefighters knocked on his door to evacuate. After seeing the smoke, he gathered his five cats, grabbed his bicycle which he uses to get around, and was able to get out of his house alive.
“Life has brought me to the point where I expect to lose everything, so it didn’t really touch me. I’m just like, oh it’s another day on earth, what are you gonna do? Perlich said. “So I was quite prepared for it. I look at everything in life like an amputation, you do the best you can with it. It doesn’t matter what happened or your opinion on it.
According to Fort Wayne Deputy Fire Chief Adam O’Connor, with buildings like the Extended Stay, the flames usually move quickly through the building. Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control at around 9:30 a.m. and evacuated everyone, including pets, without causing any casualties or injuries.
With so many people on the streets, the Red Cross has been deployed to provide basic necessities such as food and shelter, as well as health and mental health services to help them get back on their feet.
“You know it’s a hotel, but for some of these people it was their home. Some people have lost everything and now they have lost their place of residence, ”said LaMar Holliday, Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross. “One thing about the American Red Cross is when we have disasters like this, that’s where we step in and provide that shelter and provide that assistance.”
Holliday added that these people are probably at the worst time of their life after losing everything, and the Red Cross is here to help them get back on the road to recovery.
The building will likely have to be demolished, officials said.