LITTLETON, Colo. -- More than 160 residents who were left homeless in the Windermere Apartment Complex fire in Littleton began the process of moving out and moving forward on Saturday. The fire killed one man and left many seniors without homes to return to nearly one month ago.
“You can’t pack up your life in two days,” said David Capone.
Capone is helping his girlfriend, Madison Ulrickson, move her grandfather out of Windermere this weekend.
“It’s been stressful to say the least,” said Ulrickson. “He’s been staying with my parents for a while so that’s good but it’s been hard. He’s attached to a lot of the things in there, a lot of the things belong to my grandmother and you can’t replace that.”
Cart after cart, residents and restoration crews took bags and boxes out of the building. Reports of asbestos contamination limited their access only to the fire stairwells, with the lobby and elevators closed off.
“He’s on the fifth floor,” said Ulrickson. “It’s kind of difficult. We are a little bit worried. A lot of the stuff that is my grandmother’s is really heavy, it’s going to be hard to get down.”
Saturday begins a straight week of packing. Residents on each floor will have two days to pack and move their belongings. If more time is needed, the apartment management said they will accommodate residents.
“I used to live here, now I live in another apartment,” said Windermere resident Thelma Spinelli.
Spinelli will begin moving out on Monday. Although time has passed, she remembers the fire like it was yesterday.
“I hear fire, fire get everybody out, out!” said Spinelli. “I open the door, it was black you couldn’t see anything.
Over the last few weeks, she’s found other places to stay, including with her neighbors. Spinelli said she was able to use resources from the church across the street from the complex to find another place to live.
“I can’t complain, they helped us,” said Spinelli.
But for Ulrickson’s grandfather, the process to find him a permanent new home may take some time, and he’s not the only one that will be searching.
“He is going to be staying with my parents for a little while,” said Ulrickson. “A lot of these people don’t have family around here, they are older. They don’t have family, they don’t have people to help.”
Arapahoe County Commissioners created a fund to help with their security deposits and other rental requirements. Additionally, Arapahoe County Community Resources staff is working to find housing options for the seniors.
RELATED HEADLINES --