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Red Cross volunteers assist residents in East Boston fire

fire east boston
American Red Cross volunteers were on scene at this morning's five-alarm fire assisting almost a dozen residents of East Boston.

American Red Cross volunteers were on scene at this morning's five-alarm fire assisting almost a dozen residents of East Boston.

First responders said 23 lived in the building where firefighters battled cold and frozen hydrants while knocking down the fire.

Red Cross volunteers offered snacks and water -- and blankets -- to those on scene. By 6 a.m., one family of six had elected to stay in a hotel paid for by donors to the Red Cross, and others were finding family and friends to stay with.

Some residents of the building work the overnight shift, and it is expected they'll return soon, adding to the number of people volunteers will offer to help. So far, volunteers have assisted 21 people from eight families.

Among the items distributed tonight were smoke packs (strong detergent to remove the smell of smoke), comfort kits (toiletries like tooth brushes) and emergency funds for food.

The American Red Cross is funded by the American people and our volunteers who answer the call at 1:30 in the morning are people just like you. Will you join us? Learn how you can volunteer at RedCross.Org or read about other ways you can help.

Read about the fire in the news:

WHDH News Story on East Boston Apartment Fire

NECN News Story on East Boston Apartment Fire