CARMEL, N.Y. -- Eleven senior citizens who lost their homes during a fire Tuesday at the Hughson Commons Senior Housing are homeless and staying at local hotels, according to the American Red Cross New York Branch.
In all, 32 residents were displaced by the fire that destroyed two apartments completely and extensively damaged others, said Carmel Police Lt. John Dearman.
Carmel detectives and the Putnam County Fire Investigation Team are currently investigating the cause of the fire and the Town of Carmel building inspector has deemed the entire building uninhabitable until further notice, Dearman said.
Following the fire, the Red Cross, with help from the Putnam County Emergency Services, set-up a comfort center that offered the seniors a warm place to stay, as well as provide food and counseling, said Abagail Adams, Regional Information Officer for the Red Cross.
"It was quite a traumatic experience for many of the residents," Adams said. "Putnam County officials including Emergency Services and the Office of Aging have been wonderful."
A majority of residents had friends or family they could stay with until they could find new homes, or find out if they will be able to return to the their former homes, Adams said.
Eleven, who had no one, were put up in hotels by the Red Cross, who is also looking after their other needs, she added.
"The community has been very helpful and we will make sure that working with local resources they have what they need, including housing," Adams said.
Wilder Balter Partners, who operate the low-income apartments that receive federal funding, said they plan to rebuild, and will help residents find new apartments.
A company spokeswoman declined further comment.
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