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Red Cross Helped 360 People Following 63 Fires in December

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois assisted more than 360 people affected by 63 fires in eight counties this month that included responses to two senior complexes that temporarily displaced up to 50 people, a house explosion, and canteen support during a three-alarm hospital fire. Volunteers also provided immediate disaster relief including emotional support following three incidents involving fatalities. 

Since Dec. 1 the Red Cross responded to 63 fires in the greater Chicago region including Boone, Cook, Kane, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry and Will counties. 

Two fatal fires occurred on the South Side of Chicago in multi-unit buildings within blocks of each other and one in the city of North Chicago in Lake County during a five-day span from Dec.11-15. One of those fatalities was inside an eight-story senior complex in the city’s Chatham neighborhood. Teams are planning preparedness events with community partners in those communities, conducting home follow-up visits to families, and reaching out to the nearby schools for youth safety events. 

Another senior residential building caught fire Dec.16 in the city of Aurora, approximately 40 miles west of Chicago, in a seven-story complex on the 400 block of N. Constitution Drive that temporarily displaced up to 50 older adults and persons with disabilities. Volunteers helped residents find a safe place to stay and assisted with food and other relief items. 

The Red Cross also provided canteen services Dec. 11 offering water and snacks to first responders battling a 3-alarm blaze at Resurrection Hospital, 7263 W. Talcott Avenue on Chicago’s far northwest side. 

Earlier this month, the Red Cross provided assistance to nine people following a home explosion Dec. 2 from a gas leak on 107th Place in the Morgan Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The home was destroyed, displacing one family and two more whose home nearby sustained damage. The gas line was shut off in the damaged homes and the Red Cross provided assistance for food. 

The biggest threat to families isn’t severe weather – it’s fire. Seven times a day someone dies from a home fire. In the greater Chicago region, the Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day. The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit

About the American Red Cross The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @ChicagoRedCross.