CQC residents back at home 12.16

Written by David Green.

It didn’t take long for the residents of Morenci’s Citizens for Quality Care (CQC) adult foster care home to return home after a fire Dec. 7.

The 12 residents were evacuated about 7:30 p.m. that night after a fire was discovered in a room. Most of the residents were transported to the CQC Stephenson Home in Adrian by a bus from Morenci Area Schools, although three went home with family members.

“The residents are back home now,” owner Teresa Chang said Thursday afternoon.

Fire and smoke damage was limited due to quick action from Morenci Fire Department members who noticed the blaze when they were training across the street from the facility.

A state licensing inspector approved the home for reopening on Tuesday, Chang said, and a state fire marshal visited the house Wednesday and gave his OK.

The residents came back home at noon Thursday.

Chang expressed her gratitude to the police, EMTs and fire department, as well as to her own staff.

“Everything happened within seconds,” she said about the response to the fire.

Her staff members Sheila Dillon and Brittney Corey smelled smoke just as fire department members were rushing across the parking lot.

The two staff members immediately started moving residents outside onto the patio and then the fire department took over, Chang said.

Chang said it “was a blessing” that the fire department was engaged in training when the fire occurred.

One resident of the house was suspected of starting the fire and was taken to Herrick Medical Center for mental health observation.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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