A Day of Recovery at UNO

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A day after a fire took the roof off a UNO dormitory building, it was a time for students to pick up the pieces and begin moving forward.

For UNO officials, Thursday was a time to meet the needs of the students. That included replacing textbooks, providing meals and fully-furnished replacement housing complete with toiletries.

Three young women we first met on Wednesday night say they're overwhelmed by the help

Senior Angela Gillespie said, "I came out and then they were like, ‘are you the one with the bride's maid dresses?’ I'm like 'no, my roommate was.' They were like, ‘we have them.’ I just freaked out. And then I just started calling them."

We first met the roommates on Wednesday and they were fearing the worst – that most of their possessions were destroyed in the fire.

By Thursday night they were unfolding their recovered bridesmaid dresses; burned and frozen but in hand, thanks to the recovery team at UNO.

Senior Kaitlyn Boyce said, "The structure is not exactly safe or stable, but going up there, if they actually find trinkets and stuff we thought was gone, they bring it back down, it is amazing."

Kayla Caumeran is getting married in May. The other two will serve as her bridesmaids. Late Wednesday night, firefighters salvaged her wedding rings.

Kayla said, "We told him and he went up and he found them and the boxes that they were in. They were just soaking wet. But they are fine."

Thursday was spent focused on helping students like these three with things like $8,000 worth of free Maverick T-Shirts, hoodies and text books.

UNO’s Dan Shipp told us, "We've basically opened up our wallets to be able to help support those students. We don't want students waiting around for solutions."

One thing not recovered from the fire - Kayla's wedding invitations. But The Knot.com stepped up for those as well.

Kayla said, “As soon as I heard that they were going to, they wanted to replace my invites, I just started crying. I was just so thankful."

It was a day of recovery, physically and emotionally.

Part of that process includes sifting through what is covered by insurance and what isn't. The school says they will first start with students who are covered by their own renter's insurance, then figure out who is covered by their parents' plan and finally filling in the gaps from there. For now, the university wants to make sure none of the affected students go without.

"We've also as a university, we've had just for example just to get students through the next couple of days a hundred dollars on their MAV Cards, so students aren't faced with 'I'm down to my last couple dollars to eat', we wanted to make sure to plug that gap right away,” University Associate Chancellor Dan Shipp said..

Staff will be on hand at the Scott Village once again tomorrow to meet with students and continue the recovery process.


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