Displaced residents say they hope to return home by early April

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND): More than 100 people are still homeless after a fire last week.

It happened at the Greenwood Manor Apartments in Decatur. The bedroom fire broke out just after 6 p.m. last Thursday evening.

"Normally, in a fire like that, I would expect 15 to 20 people displaced because of the smoke damage that occurs," Chief Jeff Abbott, with the City of Decatur Fire Department, says.

Instead, all of the residents - over 100 of them - have been told to leave. That's because the fire suppression system burst during the fire, leaving the building without any fire protection.

"It's been pretty weird," Michael Baker, an apartment resident, says. "The Red Cross has been pretty helpful, they've housed a few of us there and they're helping as much as they possibly can. But overall it's life, I mean, life happens."

The property managers aren't sure yet how long residents will be out for but some have heard a few weeks.

"I was told two weeks, but I'm not for sure on that," Baker says.

Residents aren't supposed to come in and out but for some it can't always be avoided.

"I stopped to feed my fish cause they still need to eat, regardless," Baker says. "They know I have fish and I'm going to feed the fish and they let me do that."

He says the community has been really helpful, and that residents are also helping eachother.

"Everybody is just taking it a day at a time, doing their best," Baker says. "It's kind of brought the building a little closer together, as far as communication, so I guess that is a plus you can take from it. I always try to look at the bright side of everything."

The Northeast Community Fund is collecting donations for those that are displaced. You can bring extra bedding, pots, and pans to 825 N. Water Street.

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