NewsCovering Colorado


More than 100 senior citizens still have no home after fire

Posted at 10:41 PM, May 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-26 14:32:59-04

COLORADO SPRINGS –  123 senior citizens living at the Regency Tower in Colorado Springs are still without a home tonight. The Red Cross is stepping in to help, but the future is still uncertain and the holiday weekend is also making the situation worse.

Not only are motels busier this time of year, but they can also be pricier. It’s also harder to reach insurance companies.

Many folks won’t get reimbursed for their stay right away, or find out if their coverage qualifies for that until after the holiday weekend.

The holiday is also causing delays on the inspection of the building and folks won’t find out when they’ll be allowed back until next week at the earliest.

Cynthia Keene was one of the more than a hundred residents evacuated.

“You just want to sit there and cry,” she said. “You know what’s going to happen. You’re not going to have a place to stay for a while.”

She found refuge inside the Red Cross Shelter at Cheyenne Mountain High School.Two folks stayed there Friday night and another checked in Saturday night. But given the holiday weekend, staff and volunteers are ready for more.

“Motels are very expensive,” said Keith Marcantel, a shelter supervisor at The Red Cross shelter.
“So that could be a driving force for possibly more people coming and spending the next few nights. We’ll be open as long as they’re a need.”

Another need for evacuees is fetching important items from their apartments.

“She’s on several medications, especially for pain right now, and those are all kind of in there,” said Keene’s caretaker Crystal Madrano.

But on Saturday, property managers allowed everyone below the eight floor to go in and grab their essentials. Though, the hope is to be allowed back in for good.

“Our hope for the clients is for them to get back into their apartments,” Marcantel added. “That’s what they want, as soon as possible. But the holiday weekend is holding that up too, I understand, from inspections.”

An inspection is scheduled for Tuesday, with the building closed Saturday evening for the rest of the holiday weekend. Now all residents can do is wait, and hope for the best.

“I hope everybody gets through this,” Keene said.

Everyone made it out of that fire, with a couple of folks treated for smoke inhalation. There’s still no official word on when residents will be allowed back in, but we’ll be sure to share any updates as soon as that inspection on Tuesday is complete.