Hundreds of residents of a Worcester apartment building that were woken up and displaced by an electrical fire in the early hours of Thanksgiving day were provided temporary accommodations “very quickly” by their property manager, according to a statement from a city of Worcester.
Community Builders, the property manager of High Rise Tower at Plumley Village at 16 Laurel St., provided their residents with transportation and temporary housing.
The fire that started in an electrical room on the second floor at 3:42 a.m. Thursday caused significant damage to the building’s electrical system.
The property manager is working closely with electrical contracts to repair the damage, according to the city’s statement, but it is unclear how long those repairs will take.
The city’s Department of Inspectional Service is working to expedite a temporary fix that would allow residents to come back to their homes as soon as they determine it is safe to do so.
Some of the electricity in the building has already been restored, along with the heat and elevator operations. Vehicles with Reece Electric and Renaud Electric and Communications could be seen at the south entrance of Plumley Village Friday.
A fire alarm emergency services minivan was also parked outside Plumley Village’s entrance.
“All parties involved in the repairs of the buildings’ electrical system have made full restoration a priority and are working diligently to get residents back in their apartments,” a spokesperson for the city stated.
The cause of the fire, which displaced 300 to 400 residents, is still unknown and will be determined by an insurance company.
Nilsa Colon helped families leave the building Thursday morning. A 30-year resident of Plumley Village, she’s been recognized for her volunteer work supporting families, according to her Facebook page. This work includes helping families if something breaks down, make sure children are safe and help with finances.
She arrived at around 4 a.m., not long after the fire began on the second floor. Colon moved through the building telling people “to get ready,” grab their medications, clothes and phones. Older residents on oxygen needed to bring their tanks while families with children needed to bring extra clothes, she emphasized.
Since the fire, Colon has continued to work with families and make sure they have all that they need while in temporary housing. After what happened, she’s relieved no one was hurt.
“Everybody’s alive, you know?” she said. “It could have been worse. We had that situation about maybe 14 years ago. I’ve been living here 30 years and that’s my issue: to help everybody that I can.”