Patten Towers Residents Return

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Arriving to a warm welcome from property management, almost 2 hundred residents returned home Wednesday.

“It’s a relief to be back and it’s scary at the same time because the fire. I never been through anything like that” said resident Betty Smith.

In March, a person who was smoking started a fire.

The whole building had to be evacuated.

Smith never imagined it would be months before she could step foot inside her apartment again.

“Going down the stairwell with all the smoke and everything” said Smith. “It was scary.”

Only people who live on the 8th floor and above were able move back in.

The lower floors are still being repaired after the sprinklers damaged the dry wall.

“When we got the good news yesterday that we can move in floors eight through eleven, we immediately got on the phones and started calling the residents directly” said Regional Vice President of Elmington Property Managenment Martha Hopkins. “We sent out a text blast. We contacted the hotels and it’s been fairly easy. Residents are very anxious to return.”

While the transition to move back in was made simple, being displaced was difficult but thanks to the city mapping out a temporary housing plan and numerous volunteers stepping up, Clyde Jackson was able to see the glass half full.

“You have to take the bitter with the sweet. It’s not our fault somebody else did something wrong” said Jackson. “The folks treated us real nice while we was we was out there. I rather have been there than on the streets because they didn’t have to do what they did to help us.”

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News