By Amanda Rothenberg, American Red Cross Intern
What should have been an average day turned into heartache for Deyanissa Bonifacio, a young mother of two, when she watched her home burn through a cloud of smoke. It was only two days before Christmas when a devastating fire in Freeport, N.Y destroyed her home. Red Cross volunteer Bruce Vesloski and his team of responders rushed to the scene, covered Deyanissa with blankets and warm clothing and comforted her during her time of need. A week later, we sat down with Deyanissa to discuss her experience on that fateful day.
Can you walk us through what happened the day of the fire?
It was in the morning. I basically did what I do every day, just woke up. I went to take a shower. When I went in the shower I felt like it smelled a weird smell. I got out of the shower, I go into the room and the room was already on fire. I had to run outside in a towel. I was screaming for help and these two girls stopped and gave me some clothes that they had in their car. Then the Red Cross came.
How was the Red Cross able to help you?
They gave me some basics: underwear, socks, stuff like that, sweaters and jackets. Whatever they could help me with. They gave me a gift card. I stayed at the hotel they provided me for three days. They helped me out, made it a little bit easier, because Christmas was coming. And on top of that, the communication between me and Bruce, even though that already happened… I still communicate with him, I still call him.