Raleigh, N.C. — As investigators continue to comb the scene of the fire in downtown Raleigh, residents in nearby buildings who were displaced by the smoke and water are working to put their lives back together.

From the ground, the Quorum Center does not look that bad. But on the inside, many families’ homes are destroyed.

Sherri Henderson lives on the ninth floor. She brought boxes with her on Wednesday as she once again climbed the steps to collect what she could.

“The first time was the worst because we didn’t know what to expect, but we knew it was going to be bad,” she said.

Her floors were soaked. Her walls were wet. Soot covered the furniture, and there was water in drawers.

Fire damage

“Every other time we come up, we are just on work mode. We see what we are going to do and get the task list done,” Henderson said.

The biggest reminder of the fire is the plywood filling the holes where the windows used to be.

“The rubber got so hot on the outside of the windows that the windows just collapsed. They didn’t burst, it wasn’t a loud noise, they just couldn’t hold their own weight, so they just collapsed,” she said.

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