Patten Towers Condemned and Displaced Residents Respond
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- “We have nothing” said Christina Davis.
Davis is one of several Patten Tower residents who evacuated after a fire broke out over the weekend with nothing but the clothes on her back.
“You still have stuff inside the apartment right now?” asked News 12’s Winston Reed.
“Everything that we own is inside that apartment,” said Davis.
The apartment is pad locked. The city considers the apartment unliveable. They’ve condemned the property.
Chattanooga and The American Red Cross did provide temporary housing and other resources at the Budgetel Inn.
The city also plans to retrieve or replace any belongings inside the building.
The temporary housing being in East Ridge possibly led to more problems.
“We’re way out here” said Davis. “No transportation.”
“I’m just bouncing around,” said Mark Campbell. “Staying with friends and family.”
Lack of transportation has burdened Campbell. He decided not to stay the Budgetel Inn.
“I can’t stay at a hotel because my job consists of me living down here in the city,” said Campbell. “They’re not going to pay for my transportation to get back and forth from that hotel so I gotta do what I gotta do.”
There is no word yet on how long the building will be condemned or when residents can come back home.
Despite the recent struggles, there is still optimism and a silver lining.
“By the grace of God we just happy and lucky that we got up out of there,” said one resident.
“I don’t think they’re going to let 200 people be out here on the street when they had a place to stay,” said Campbell.
Here is a statement from Elmington Capital, the property owners of Patten Towers:
Patten Towers is an affordable housing community for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. Since the outbreak of this fire, our primary concern has been the safety and well-being of these residents.
We are extremely thankful to the rescue teams that were able to evacuate the building and contain the fire.
We continue to work closely with the city of Chattanooga, the local fire department, and the Red Cross to help these residents. We secured housing for all through Friday morning and the Red Cross has since taken over temporary housing and food of those in need.
The damage from the fire is still being assessed. We are working diligently to get our residents safely back into their homes as soon as possible.”