MARQUETTE COUNTY — Marquette Housing Commission’s Executive Director Sharon Maki met with us and some of the people of Pine Ridge to provide any information she could on the status of the apartment complex after last month’s fire.
“Unfortunately we do not have any updates or potential timeline. There’s a lot of variables. There are three systems in the building that need to be up and running, and until those systems are up and running, and we have approval through our local code officials will not be able to move back in,” said Sharon Maki, Executive Director, Marquette House Commission.
Maki was thankful that the fire damage did not make its way into the building.
“There was no fire damage to any of the apartments. There was no fire, torches, or tar up on the roof that we could quickly point to the fire, and nothing has caved in. The building is very structurally sound at this point,” said Maki.
The cause of the fire is still unknown at this time. The fire was predominately located on the roof, but heat, smoke, and some of the flames did spread into the penthouse, where most of the apartment systems are located, such as the elevator. The penthouse was not accessible until last week, according to Maki.
As tenants wait to return to their apartments, there are a few safety aspects that must be met before that can happen.
“The big thing about getting back to the building is, as tenants looked around as they’ve gone back into their apartments, they’re wondering, ‘why am I not back in the building? why am I not back into my apartment, while my apartment looks exactly the way it did when I left?’,” said Maki. “It’s all about making sure this is a safe environment to move back into and without knowing that we have clean air, and an operating fire alarm, we cannot move people back in, so those are my two top priorities right now.”
The pets of Pine Ridge are also being taken care of by the apartment employees, so don’t worry, your furry friends are doing well.
The Marquette Housing Commission is searching for temporary housing for those tenants who are still at the shelter located at Lakeview Arena. Maki said they have been sending tenants all across the Upper Peninsula, making sure the shelter gets less and less crowded. Tenants have been sent as close as Negaunee and as far as Sault Sainte Marie and Ironwood.
The emergency shelter started off with a little over 40 tenants at the end of July. Currently, 25 tenants still remain at Lakeview Arena.
Volunteers are still welcomed and encouraged.
For more information on how you can help the Pine Ridge tenants, call 211 or click here.