Virginia residents still displaced for another night

Two housing complexes in Virginia had to be evacuated Wednesday evening after a a broken boiler left both buildings without heat.

Fire truck
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DULUTH — Authorities said residents of the Columbia and Rouchleau Apartment complexes will have to spend at least one more night out away from the building, according to a news release from the Virginia Housing and Redevelopment Authority. The 147 residents and 100 pets in the two buildings were evacuated Wednesday evening after a boiler failure caused both buildings to be without heat.

Crews have been working around the clock to restore heat to the complexes and significant progress has been made, but officials with the Virginia HRA and fire department determined that those who are displaced must stay away at least another night.

"Our utmost concern is the safety and welfare of the occupants," said Virginia Housing and Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Dana Hiltunen. "Crews are working to make sure that every apartment in the two buildings have adequate heat. As to when residents can return to the building is yet to be determined. Again, our primary concern is health and safety."

Officials also praised the area communities, businesses and community organizations for coming together to help those impacted by the incident.

Teri Cadeau is a general assignment and neighborhood reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Originally from the Iron Range, Cadeau has worked for several community newspapers in the Duluth area for eight years including: The Duluth Budgeteer News, Western Weekly, Weekly Observer, Lake County News-Chronicle and occasionally, the Cloquet Pine Journal. When not working, she's an avid reader and crafter.
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