KALAMAZOO Mich. -
A building that’s normally bustling with activity is a deserted apartment complex after the residents were forced to move out.
Lauren Tinklenburg and Holly Nicholson have been living at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission for nearly a week, after a fire On November 18 ripped through the Northwind Apartments on Douglas Avenue south of Alamo Avenue northwest of downtown Kalamazoo.
“Mostly I hang out with my neighbors that were in the building,” said Nicholson, a Northwind Apartments resident.
Many of the residents living in the complex have disabilities and needed extra help getting out of the building during the fire. Nicholson uses a wheelchair and could not walk down the stairs.
“I thought it was a false alarm,” she said. “I didn’t even go downstairs. Someone knocked on my door and said there’s a fire. I told them I’m in a wheelchair I can’t go down the stairs. I had to be carried down 5 flights of stairs by the fireman.”
Nicholson says she doesn’t mind staying at the shelter, but she misses the freedom of living on her own.
“Being able to come and go as I please. I can come and go here during the day, but I can go to bed when I want and get up when I want. Don’t have to be in bed, lights out. Like I’m a little kid or something.”
The women don’t know when they’ll be able to move home again. They have already spent Thanksgiving at the shelter, and they’d like to be back in their homes for Christmas.