COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The American Red Cross wants the public to know that they have plenty of room for people who are evacuated because of the Waldo Canyon Fire and needing a place to stay.
There are 32,000 people displaced because of the fire, and many are staying with friends or at hotels. Many more are staying at the evacuation centers.
There are five emergency shelters set up, as of Tuesday morning. They are located at the following places:
– Cheyenne Mountain High School
– Summit Elementary School
– YMCA Southeast Family Center
– Cripple Creek High School
– Lewis Palmer High School in Monument
The Penrose Equestrian Center is also sheltering large animals that have been evacuated.
Lilly Fredrick has been in shelters since the fire broke out on Saturday.
“We barely brought anything,” she told CBS4, describing what the evacuation of her home was like. “We just got some backpacks with some clothes and all of our important papers and that was it.”
Aside from the shelters, some evacuated Colorado Springs residents are choosing to stay in unconventional spaces, including hotel ballrooms, vacant office spaces in buildings and even church basements.
Many restaurants in Colorado Springs have also started providing free meals to those who have been forced from their kitchens. Poor Richards, a downtown pizza place, is among those. They are offering free pizza to firefighters, police and evacuees.
“You think it’s never going to happen here, and then when it does it’s just unbelievable,” said Terri Laughlin, an employee.
The Waldo Canyon Fire has destroyed an undetermined number of homes. A firefighter working on the blaze on Tuesday said as many as 300 homes have been destroyed but an official count hasn’t been released.
CORRECTION: An earlier article on CBSDenver.com stated that the Red Cross evacuation shelters didn’t have enough room, which the Red Cross says has not been the case with this fire.
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