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Residents of the Star Motel Say Rooms, Food Pantry Boarded Up Ahead of Demolition

The residents of the Star Motel are mostly gone now. But they've left behind items that tell their stories. Photo: Danielle Prieur

Residents of the Star Motel in Kissimmee say rooms with families still living in them are being boarded up after Osceola County ordered the property demolished. 

Star Motel manager and resident Sarah Russo said sheriff’s deputies tried to board up her family’s room today.

“I informed the Osceola County Sheriff, I am on probation. I am more than willing to admit it. I wrote bad checks seven years ago and I’m serving my time. I’m registered to that address and if they have a problem with it, they can get my probation officer out here.” 

Russo said they also boarded up an empty room that she used as a food pantry for remaining residents. She said she only has some snacks to hold them over.

“I have basics. I have snacks for everybody. Right now it’s a matter of just trying to make ends meet. Because with the generator running, I’m still running eight rooms off of that generator. I can’t hook up a hot plate. I can’t hook up a microwave. It’s just enough for us to run lights and phone chargers.”

In a statement, Osceola County said only unoccupied or fire-damaged rooms at the Star Motel are being boarded up. 

Tenants won’t be removed until an order to demolish the property takes effect next month.

State Fire Marshal Investigates Weekend Fire At the Star Motel In Kissimmee

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.