Community comes together to help after fire displaces almost 100 students at Raleigh apartments

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The community is stepping up after college housing in Raleigh caught fire earlier this week. It displaced almost 100 students.

The fire happened on Monday morning at the Village Green student housing apartment complex.

“I was asleep and then someone came banging on my door, and at first I thought it was maintenance. But then I got to the door and it’s one of our neighbors and he said, ‘Your porch is on fire,’ and I completely start to panic, and I ran and yelled for my roommates,” said resident Quenton Hocutt.

Hocutt lives to the right of the unit where the fire started.

“We just run out there to the parking lot and we all just stood out there and watched. It was, wow, I don’t know how to explain it,” Hocutt said.

Students watched as their belongings went up in flames.

“You name it, I’ve pretty much lost it,” Hocutt said.

Property managers said they don’t have enough space to house everyone displaced.

“We made a boss decision and we said let’s call the competition because, at this point, it’s not about competition. We look at these residents as our family,” said Sequoia Watkins, assistant property manager at Village Green.

Village Green hosted other apartment complexes for a housing fair.

They’re also collecting donations for students.

“The community has come out like in droves. We’ve had churches, we’ve got many of our vendors, everybody has come out and support,” Watkins said.

Everything from food to clothes to gift cards — they have it.

“My heart is full, and I was like, ‘All this is for us. Oh my gosh, the community really does care about us,'” Hocutt said.

Hocutt came for the needed goods, but he stayed to volunteer on Thursday, as he knows firsthand the impact these donations make.

“I think people are just determined to just move forward,” he said.

Although the support’s been great, they are still in need of more. Some of the donations they’re looking for are laundry detergent, clothes and shoes in larger sizes, and gift cards for food.

People can bring donations to 2000 Village Bluff Pl. in Raleigh.

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