Fire Update

4:00 p.m. EDT 5/11/18

We are so excited to announce that by this morning (Friday), all Liberty building residents whose apartments did not suffer damage from the fire are back in their homes. The remaining Liberty residents whose apartments suffered damage are either in temporary apartments here at The Heritage or staying with friends or family. Plans for restoring the water-damaged apartments are being developed, and that work is expected to take some months for all apartments to be restored.

Now that most of our residents have returned home, we plan to celebrate this remarkable community and how we came together to support one another. We thank everyone for their hard work and dedication to each other. Be on the lookout for more information on this event and updated move-in news.

Lastly, we want to again thank all those in our broader community for their actions and support during the past 10 days including first responders last Wednesday, The Inn at Reading, Eshelman Transportation, Rehab 1, Transition Connections and Kleffel’s Moving. Thanks, too, to everyone else who has offered love and support, medical care, clean-up, transportation, meals and so much more.

3:30 p.m. EDT 5/10/18

GOOD NEWS! WE’RE MOVING BACK TO LIBERTY! As of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, a number of residents of The Heritage’s Liberty building have moved back into their apartments — and more will move back into temporary apartments later today and tomorrow (Friday). In all cases, we are working to ensure that each resident is comfortable and safe.

We are happy to report this very good progress with the moves back to The Heritage.

A huge thank you to Transition Connections, Kleffel’s Moving and many volunteers for springing into action to help residents move back.

2:45 p.m. EDT 5/9/18

The clean-up efforts in our Liberty building have progressed very well, and we’ve begun to make plans for the building’s residents to return to the community beginning tomorrow (Thursday) in several stages.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our new friends at The Inn at Reading for their hospitality and support over the past week. Be on the lookout for further updates.

3:00 p.m. EDT 5/8/18

Thanks to the efforts of many, we are continuing to make very good progress with the clean-up in the Liberty building. The refurbished sprinkler system will soon be inspected, and once approved we will be able to move forward with a timetable for Liberty residents to return to the community.

For now, Liberty residents remain comfortable at the Inn at Reading or with their friends and family.

Stay tuned for further updates. And, thanks for your prayers and good wishes.

5:00 p.m. EDT 5/7/18

About 80 hours after the fire at The Heritage’s Liberty Building, we are making very good progress in the clean-up and restoration. We are working as quickly as possible with the goal of systematically moving affected residents back into their apartments as quickly as possible. Clean-up and restoration crews have been working around the clock. Damaged drywall, floors and ceilings are being removed in order to be replaced or repaired. Electric and fire sprinkler services are being restored. Equipment has been brought in to remove any trace of dampness, and deodorizers have been deployed to remove smoke odors.

The 66 residents who were displaced continue to live as comfortably as possible under the circumstances, thanks in large part to the support and care of many in our community, including family members, other Heritage residents, the staff of The Inn at Reading, Rehab 1 — and staff members of The Heritage. We continue to be inspired by the strong sense of community readily evident as a result of this event and the significant support it has fostered. Thanks to the efforts of many people, residents of the Liberty Building have been able to achieve a level of “normalcy.” All Heritage residents — those displaced and those that have remained on the campus — continue to lead their vibrant and active lifestyles.

Group picture of senior living community residents

The affected residents, too, should be commended for their resilience and positive outlook. Some of them, in fact, joined a large contingent of Heritage residents that attended a Reading Symphony Orchestra concert last night wearing white rosebuds as symbols of unity and support for all those impacted by this event. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all The Heritage family that has been affected by the fire.

We will continue to post further updates. Family members who want additional information can call Doug Walther, executive director of The Heritage, at 484-345-0681; or Sandy Shirk, director of sales and marketing, at 484-709-5642.

9:00 a.m. EDT 5/6/18

We’d like to provide an update on the fire that occurred at The Heritage of Green Hills on Wednesday night. The staff and residents of The Heritage of Green Hills are deeply saddened at the news of the death of one of our residents due to that fire. She passed away at Lehigh Valley Hospital last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with the resident’s family and friends, including those here at The Heritage.

As we reported, the fire was isolated to a single apartment in the Liberty Building and now is known to have been caused by smoking in that apartment, and the water and smoke damage was limited to a single area of the community.

We continue to cooperate with local authorities, and we are doing everything possible to ensure the comfort and safety of those Heritage residents who were displaced by the fire. Due to ongoing building restoration and clean-up from the fire, we are not yet able to say when displaced residents will be able to return to their Liberty Building apartments. We are closely monitoring damage assessments and clean-up efforts in order to give residents the latest, updated information.

9:00 a.m. EDT 5/4/2018

As of 9:00 a.m. this morning, we wanted to provide an update on the situation here at the community as the result of a fire on Wednesday, 5/2 in the evening. First, we have no update at this time on the condition of the resident who was injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. The other residents of the Liberty Building who were evacuated last night continue to be comfortable at The Inn at Reading or with family or friends. The community’s electric service (including lights and computers) and phone service have been restored, and we’re making good progress on repairing the water and smoke damage.

We will promptly post any updates on the situation as we receive additional information. Concerned family members can call Doug Walther, executive director of The Heritage, at 484-345-0681; or Sandy Shirk, director of sales and marketing, at 484-709-5642.

2:00 p.m. EDT 5/3/2018

Last night at approximately 7:40 p.m., a fire broke out in one of the apartments in The Heritage of Green Hills’ Liberty Building. The sprinkler and alarm systems were activated, local fire crews arrived promptly on the scene and we evacuated all 68 residents from the Liberty Building. One of our female residents was flown by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital, and she was accompanied by her husband. We hope to have an update on her condition soon. Another resident was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and was later released. The other 65 Liberty residents did not require treatment. These 65 Liberty residents and the resident who was treated and released for smoke inhalation spent last night at either The Inn at Reading or with family members. We will promptly post updates on the situation as we receive additional information.

Concerned family members can call Doug Walther, executive director of The Heritage, at 484-345-0681; or Sandy Shirk, director of sales and marketing, at 484-709-5642.

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