The Emerson Manor in Hoquiam was evacuated yesterday, over 60 tenants were told yesterday afternoon that they needed to collect their valuables as they were moved to the Immanuel Baptist Church in Hoquiam for the evening.
As a result of the Thursday morning fire and extensive water damage in the Emerson Manor Apartments in Hoquiam, sample bacteria reports from runoff water returned today have been found to be excessively high, resulting in an evacuation of all 60+ tenants of the apartment building. Tenants were notified in a 4pm meeting Monday afternoon of the need to collect their valuables and necessary clothing to be transferred to the Immanuel Baptist Church in Hoquiam for the evening. Many tenants have also been separated from their pets which are being distributed to local area animal shelters and adoption homes until better living facilities can be arranged and they can be reunified with their owners.
The Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS), the Red Cross, Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Grays Harbor County Public Health and numerous local and regional agencies have been working tirelessly on this incident. Their efforts today were enormous, however it was the extreme cooperation of the Emerson Manor Apartment tenants who helped achieve the evacuation in less than 3 hours. The focus in the coming days is to find better, longer term living arrangements for all of the tenants.
The Emerson Manor tenants are mainly low income, senior citizen residents. Many have specific disabilities, yet they work hard to remain self-sufficient. Today, they had to leave their home, most of their personal belongings and furniture for an extended period of time. Some are lucky enough to have family and friends to assist and stay with during the building rehabilitation, but most have nowhere else to turn. They have left their home with literally the shirts on their back and little else.
The majority of tenants have no insurance covering them for this event. They have no assistance to help purchase new clothing, furniture and appliances lost due to the water damage. Anchor Bank, also displaced due to the fire, has graciously set up a fund to assist the residents of the Emersion Manor Apartments called the Emerson Manor Assistance Fund. Anchor Bank locations throughout Grays Harbor County will accept monetary donations for the displaced Emerson Manor Apartment tenants. Please, ONLY monetary donations will be accepted for this incident, because each tenant requiring assistance has specific needs. Anchor Bank has taken the lead. Let’s follow their example and help neighboring Harborites in need.