A NUMBER of residents have been effectively left homeless after their apartments were badly smoke damaged during last week’s blaze in the centre of Letterkenny.
Eighteen people had to be evacuated from the apartment block on Rosemount Lane after a number of cars caught fire at an underground car park in the early hours of Thursday morning, September 29.
At least two people were treated in Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) for smoke inhalation, eight cars were destroyed and two adjoining businesses – O’Hehirs Bakery and Watson Menswear – have been forced to shut due to smoke damage.
All residents, mostly Polish, were housed in the nearby Dillon’s Hotel over the weekend. However, some of them have nowhere to go after checking out of the hotel at noon today.
They claim they were told by Donegal County Council they were no longer paying for their accommodation and could not rehouse them as they were not unemployed.
One resident, Magda Lukaszewska (22), a mother of one originally from Poland, said she was somewhat fortunate as her boyfriend is Irish and they can stay with his family. However, most of the others are not so lucky.
“The Irish people living in the apartments have somewhere to go, but most of the others have nowhere after having to leave the hotel, they don’t even have a place to store their belongings,” she said.
“Seventeen apartments were evacuated on Thursday. They were all badly smoke damaged and we cannot go back.
“We were put up in Dillon’s for two nights, however, the council told us on Friday that we had to leave the hotel on Monday. Now, most of us have nowhere to go. I’m lucky as my boyfriend is local and we can stay with his sister, but it is far from ideal.”
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