SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – An apartment fire in Sharpsville caused over 100 residents to be displaced to local hotels. It happened two and a half weeks ago at the Wade Mertz Towers. The community has gone above and beyond to take care of the displaced tenants. We visited one of the motels where some are staying to hear what their experience has been like.
Around 20 tenants from the Wade Mertz Towers have been camping out at the Super 8 by Wyndham in West Middlesex for the last two and a half weeks.
“When I was told yesterday it’s going to be three to four months before I can get back in, it’s very discouraging but thank god the establishment here has been fantastic to us also,” said Linda Orpen, a Wade Mertz Towers resident.
The motel has gone above and beyond to ease the struggles of the residents. They even let them bring their pets and offer to do their laundry.
“They were very much traumatized when they first came. We make it very comfortable for them. We help them because they all have some type of disability,” said Sue Kochhar, general manager of the motel.
Local businesses and restaurants have also stepped up to provide food for the evacuees for the last two and a half weeks, all out of their own pockets.
“You don’t realize how good you have it until you see something like that happen,” said Michael Lisac, owner of Warehouse Sales.
There is something to be said about going through a difficult experience with a group of people. The displaced residents say this has been a hard time but they’ve bonded quite well.
“I’ve made a lot of friends, people that you don’t see at the apartment complex that much. Yeah, you get to know people more,” Orpen said.
“We’ve all bonded together. We’ve all bonded together like one family and they’ve treated us here like we are family,” said Tod Tomack, a Wade Mertz Towers resident.
For the residents of the Wade Mertz Towers, it’s unclear exactly when they will be able to go back to their homes. They are hopeful to be back in their own beds soon.
“I’ll be glad to get back in my apartment but I can’t ask for better care and niceness that we have here,” Orpen said.