Displaced Raleigh residents coping with aftermath of fire

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s been three days since a monstrous fire broke out in downtown Raleigh, creating a large mess and leaving at least 200 people without a place to live.

Physically the area appears devastated, but, of course, the lives of many displaced residents have been drastically changed.

After finally getting some of his belongings from his place at Link Glenwood Apartments, John Koslow is checking into the Hampton Inn.

“I got a lot of jokes made on me at work, a lot of people were calling me homeless,” said Koslow. “I told them I prefer to be called residentially challenged.”

The hotel is offering a reduced rate for people displaced by the fire.

“It’s pretty inconvenient for sure obviously, but I do feel pretty lucky that especially myself no damage to any of my belongings,” Koslow said.

Amanda Schwener was not as fortunate.

“I was one of the not-so-well-off ones,” said Schwener. “My bed was against the wall, so I have crazy pictures – everything, my headboard was completely burned through. Most of the paint off the walls had burned through,” Schwener said.

She moved into the Link a month ago. Before that she lived in a condo in Five Points, but was forced to leave in the fall.

“In October Hurricane Matthew hit and the whole townhome – the whole first floor – got completely knocked out, so that was the reason for moving and these moved into these apartments and then the fire hit:” said Schwener.

She laughs about it, but she’s praying her next move will be a permanent one.

“Like I do not wish this upon anyone,” she said.

The Hampton Inn is also giving out dinner and toiletries. The Red Cross has come by to check on displaced residents and has offered supplies.

*WNCN contributed to this post.

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