Retirement community residents still waiting to get back in homes one year after fire

AURORA, Colo. -- When a fire destroyed their condominiums, residents of a retirement community didn’t think they’d still be without a home a year later.

It was clear when the fire tore through the Heather Gardens Condominiums in Aurora there would be major damage.

A man died in the blaze and 12 units were damaged.

A year later, there are few signs of the fire that struck the building. But people who live on the sixth floor have not been able to move back in.

"We were promised that we would be moving in our unit on May 17," resident Chris Schott said.

But  Schott said no work has been done on his unit in five weeks.

Cheri Conner said she’s had to move four times while waiting for her condo to be repaired.

Frustration has become a way of life for her and her neighbors.

The company remodeling the building, Rescon Restoration and Construction, said it started work seven months ago.

The owner said the booming economy and construction craze in the Denver metro area have made finding crews challenging.

“It is unfortunate," Bill Graham said. "I want to get them in there as fast as possible. And we have been working in the (last) five weeks."

Pulling permits and waiting for inspections, he added, for the 12 units has also slowed the process.

That reasoning is no consolation to the people of Heather Gardens.

"Oh, I think it should have been done," Conner said. "If they would have had the staff. The workers. It would have been done.”

But it's not. And its not clear when the residents will be able to go home.

Graham said one couple should be able to move in next week. All the other units should be ready in six to eight weeks.