Mid-week was a whirlwind for many of the evacuees from the Holiday Farm Fire. Many were told that they would have to leave their hotel accommodations for a high school gym.
We checked in on the situation where a lot of people are dealing with a lot of stress.
74 rooms at a Holiday Inn in Eugene are housing Blue River evacuees.
Wednesday night they got a note on their door saying they had to be out by morning.
The issue has since been resolved, but it was still one more worry for people who have been through so much.
Athom Toledo lived and worked in Blue River. His home was destroyed by the Holiday Farm Fire.
“It was sort of like a dream or nightmare,” Toledo told us. “What was going through my mind is that this is one of the scariest moments of my life.”
Toledo evacuated and is now staying at the Holiday Inn in Eugene along with many other evacuees.
Wednesday night, they all received a letter outside their doors saying they needed to leave.
“It took my breath away,” said evacuee Michael Ortiz. “It actually felt like getting hit in the stomach or something.”
The notice hit Ortiz hard because he’s already worried about his health.
“I knew immediately that I couldn’t go to a gym,” he told us. “I have third stage leukemia, with a very compromised immune system.”
The evacuees were told they’d be moved to Churchill High School in Eugene.
The idea of so many people gathered in a group in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic came with a new wave of anxiety.
“There was a lot of commotion and a lot of angry residents,” said Toledo.
The move was happening because the University of Oregon was hosting freshman orientation, and the hotels were previously booked by parents.
But good news came when another note arrived Thursday morning saying the evacuees could stay.
“It was a relief,” said Ortiz. “I felt a big burden was taken off.”
It was one less thing for them to worry about during this overwhelming time.
The Holiday Inn said they originally told the Red Cross that they could only house evacuees until September 17.
The Red Cross said they worked through the night to ensure that people could stay in their rooms.
Now, the contract between the Holiday Inn and Red Cross has been extended through October 3.