Robert Lindsey Tower (Courtesy/Salem Housing Authority)

The seniors displaced by a Sunday fire at a low-income housing building are staying with family or in a motel while the Salem Housing Authority works to determine what repairs are needed.

Fourteen people were displaced by a fire in Robert Lindsey Tower Sunday afternoon on the third floor of the 11-story building at 370 Church St. S.E. The building houses 62 seniors.

The resident of the apartment where the fire started was taken to the hospital and will be placed in a hotel when she is able, Gregory Walsh, Salem’s emergency preparedness manager said in an email.

“Fire teams have not conveyed if it was burns or smoke inhalation or a combination of the two that required the transport,” Walsh wrote. Walsh said he was unsure of the woman's condition.

Nicole Utz, administrator at Salem Housing Authority, said one unit was damaged by fire while the rest sustained water and smoke damage. The building has water damage from the third floor to the basement, she said.

Utz said the sprinkler system kept other units from catching fire and most residents have been able to go back and gather their belongings from their rooms.

Six residents are temporarily staying with family. The Red Cross has offered hotel vouchers for another seven residents.

Utz said the housing authority’s main goal is to get residents back into their homes, which could be as soon as a week for some seniors.

“I don’t anticipate anybody out of their home for more than 30 days,” she said.

Utz said she’s received messages from people asking how they can help, but right now her main concern is getting water out of the building.

“We appreciate everybody’s care and concern greatly,” Utz said. “We don’t have any immediate needs for donations at this time.”

Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected]

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