Historic hotel closed for at least a month

FAYETTEVILLE Fire marshals went door-to-door inside the building Monday telling residents living at the hotel, at 450 Hay Street, it was unsafe and they had to leave.

Residents Mike Lee and his girlfriend say it is terrible news. The pair had been staying at a couple of shelters around town and ended up at the hotel Thursday.

"For us coming out of the shelter and stuff and coming in, they're really nice people," Lee said. "They let us come in. We got our deposit back and everything. But unfortunately, it's not enough money to seek shelter somewhere else."

About 20 people who call the Prince Charles home were told Friday they had to move out because of fire code violations.

"The most dangerous thing we've got going on right now ... is the alterations to the building that have caused some perforations and penetrations in walls that should be in tacted," Fayetteville Fire Marshall Ronald Lewis said.

One of the problems is that a wall has been removed. Fire officials say if a fire happens, it could be very easy for it to spread down the hallway.

Currently, there are signs plastered on the front door and throughout the building informing residents of the dangers.

Residents say they are now scrambling to find other living arrangements.

"Well, I really don't know where I'm going to go right now," Laura Davis said. "I'm staying with a friend for a couple of days and going to go look for apartments because that's all I can do."

The hotel's owner, John Chen, has been out of town, but the hotel's general manager says they already have a contractor lined up to fix the problems.

"The city gave us permission," Roland Bersch said. "We had made up a plan, what we're going to do. They said we would have the time to do it."

However, city leaders say they'll have to make repairs while the hotel is shut down.

Bersch says The Prince Charles may be closed for about a month.

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