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A fire early this morning at the Missouri Hotel left 185 homeless people un sheltered, and injured eight. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes has an update on the situation.
The eight injured included five firefighters and three residents. They were released earlier today after sustaining minor strains and burns.
Residents of the Missouri Hotel were allowed back inside the fire-torn building to gather their belonging this afternoon after the building was cleared of smoke and water.
Firefighters believe the fire was started accidentally by some electrical source.
Planning and aid have come from several groups including the American Red Cross, Council of Churches and The Kitchen. Greg Burris is the City Manager of Springfield.
“That group had put together and operational plan for how to respond. Both a short term plan and a long term plan. And the reason I say that is because we don’t know how long some of these occupants will be displaced, said Burris.
Cleaning crews are already on site. According to Burris, because of the nature of the damage, some residents may be able to return in a matter of weeks. Burris says finding housing for residents is the number one priority.
“Two organizations have stepped up for the community. Cox North is going to provide anywhere from 25 to 35 families in their L wing. And the Day Spring Worship Center is going to accommodate the remaining occupants for as long as needed,” says Burris.
Rorie Orgeronk, executive director of The Kitchen, which oversees the Missouri Hotel, says the insurance will likely bring the building back to livable conditions, though there might not be enough funding for renovations.
“We are going to bring the hotel back up to code. Whether it is going to have a sprinkler system or not I can’t tell you at this time because I just don’t know,” says Orgeron.
While aid organizations have enough supplies to provide for the displaced for now, The Kitchen is asking for cash donations for further assistance. You can find more information on The Kitchen’s website, thekitcheninc.org, or our website KSMU.org. For KSMU News I’m Matthew Barnes.