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Red Cross Assisting 45 Residents Following Holiday Weekend Fires


The American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties responded to seven separate fires in the City of Buffalo over the recently completed Memorial Day weekend, providing immediate emergency assistance including temporary housing, food, clothing and support to 45 people affected by these fires.

In the early morning hours of Friday, May 25, staff member Christian Reitler of Buffalo and Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers Nicole Gerber and David Reilly from Grand Island assisted two residents displaced by a fire on Kingsley Avenue. DAT members Susan Peek of Buffalo and Pete Swales of Springville responded to two fires on Friday evening, assisting three residents after a fire on Barthel Street, and a family of six following a fire on Humason Street.

An overnight apartment fire on Elmwood Avenue displaced seven people from four different units early Saturday morning, who received assistance from volunteers Linda Balazs and Melissa Morris of Buffalo, Sharon Daut of Hamburg and Diane Sargent from Lockport. Later Saturday, Sargent, Morris and Paula Madrigal of Cheektowaga assisted 12 people from two families following a fire on 14th Street in Buffalo.

Seven people from two families were displaced by a basement fire on Freund Street early Monday morning, and were provided with vouchers for temporary housing by DAT members Sharon Daut and Nicolas Reach of Buffalo. Later on Memorial Day, Daut and Metrice Jenkins of Buffalo responded to a call on Best Street, providing for the immediate emergency needs of eight people from two families displaced by fire. Red Cross case workers will be meeting with all the displaced families throughout the day to determine their needs and will continue to assist them moving forward.

The Disaster Action Team is a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information on how to Join Us as a Disaster Action Team member, please contact volunteer coordinator Christine Kukelka at or visit

The American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties spends an average of just over $1,000 when responding to a single house fire affecting a family of four. To make a financial donation to help those affected by house fires and other disasters down the street, across the country, or around the world, please visit, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation (charges will appear on your cell phone bill).

In addition, all proceeds from this Friday’s BASH*2012 will support the American Red Cross mission of preventing, preparing for and responding to disaster in Western New York. Tickets to The BASH are available between 9am-5pm each day this week at American Red Cross headquarters, 786 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209. For more information on BASH*2012, please visit, and follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter (