Temporary shelter for Woodscape Apartments fire victims closes

(Micah Smith | WBTV)
(Micah Smith | WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A temporary shelter setup for Woodscape Apartments fire victims at Albemarle Road Middle School will close Monday.

The shelter was open for two weeks, and on Sunday night, 22 people remained at the shelter. The shelter will close at noon, with everyone needing to be out by 10 a.m.

One-hundred and thirty people lost their homes in the fire and The American Red Cross says it provided services to the majority of the victims.

"We had to have people to manage the shelter overnight, nurses, mental health support, a lot of people, a lot of volunteers. 150 volunteers over the last two weeks have supported this shelter," said Regional Executive Officer Angela Broome Powley.

At its peak, 79 people stayed at the shelter, the Red Cross says.

"Every family had its own issues and unique challenges, from transportation to work, to childcare and needs of the children, to language barriers, to financial challenges in finding a new home and more" said Broome Powley. "It is only through the generosity of our donors, and the collaboration of partner agencies and other groups that together we have been able to really move the needle for these families.

The Red Cross says they served 131 people total, served 2,600 meals and had 574 overnight shelter stays.

Poetry said all of the fire victims have homes, and about half will return to Woodscape Apartments.

Jesus Reyes Lopez, the man accused of setting the apartments on fire, was arrested and charged in the case.

Seven people were rushed to the hospital, three with serious injuries, as firefighters worked to put out the 3-alarm fire.

The fire, which officials say was intentionally set, caused around $1.3 million in damage at the Woodscape Apartments on Farm Pond Lane.

Lopez was identified as a suspect during the investigation.

Lopez was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson and damage to occupied property/explosive.

A teenager who says she's Lopez's ex-girlfriend told WBTV she believes Lopez set the fire because she ended their relationship and he wanted revenge.

The New Hope Baptist Church at 7841 Idlewild Road accepted clothing donations for families impacted by the fire.

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