RALEIGH - Most of the families displaced by the fire that destroyed 27 townhouses and damaged 11 more in North Raleigh last week were out of the hotel rooms provided by the American Red Cross and in new housing Thursday.
Patricia K. LeRoy, director of emergency services for the Triangle area chapter of the Red Cross, said nine families have found apartments and others have secured housing on their own.
The agency hoped most people would be out of the hotel rooms by Thursday. LeRoy expected only a handful of rooms were needed Thursday night, down from about two dozen earlier this week. Some of those staying in the hotel have found apartments but are waiting for them to be ready to move in, LeRoy said.
Officials blame "smoking material" for igniting the fire at the Pine Knoll Townes neighborhood off Capital Boulevard on Feb. 22.
LeRoy encourages families displaced by the fire to go to the Salvation Army, Crossroads Fellowship and Helping Hands Mission for furniture, clothing and other household needs.
The Red Cross announced this week that current contributions are sufficient to cover the agency's response to the victims of the fire at Pine Knoll Townes and another at the Pines of Asheton apartment complex, which both happened on the same day.
But LeRoy encourages people to still contribute to the Red Cross's local disaster response fund. Donors can go to www.trianglearc.org for more information.