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San Antonio Red Cross Responds to Multiple Apartment Fires

Red Cross San Antonio House Fires
We are inspired and motived to keep pushing forward—delivering upon the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross...

Volunteers for the American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio have responded to16 single- and multi-family fires since Christmas, including the Wedgewood fire and two major apartment fires this week.

When a fire breaks out, Red Cross workers arrive on scene within just a few hours—often in the middle of the night—to provide comfort, shelter, food, clothing and hope to residents affected by home fires. Over the past two weeks, the Red Cross has opened 196 cases to help more than 250 people impacted by home fires in Bexar County.

Last night and this morning, volunteers were on scene at the Lincoln Village apartments, where 16 units were destroyed. Displaced residents were provided with a place to stay, clothing, food, comfort kits and replacement medications.

“Our volunteers have been working around the clock to help the Wedgewood residents, and have continued to be able to respond to and deliver services to every single fire call since,” said Monica Reyes, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio. “We are inspired and motived to keep pushing forward—delivering upon the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross—because of the resilience of the affected families and the great support and generosity of the public, who entrust us with their donations and trust us to carry out this important work when its needed most.”

Help people affected by disasters like these apartment fires and countless other crises by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

“In addition to monetary support, we encourage people who want to help to consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer,” said Reyes. “More than 90 percent of our workforce is volunteers, and we need new volunteers now more than ever. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to help a neighbor when they need it most.”

These recent fires have served as a devastating reminder of the destructive power of disasters. The Red Cross is urging families to take precautions to keep their families safe in the event of a home or apartment fire. As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for disasters by:

• Creating and practicing a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a fire occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of fire. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice.

• Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents and other emergency items for the whole family.

• Ensure Your Home Has Smoke Alarms: Each floor should have a smoke alarm and each should be tested monthly by pushing the test button. Change the batteries in your alarms at least once a year, unless they have long-lasting batteries. Install a new battery immediately if an alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low. Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. Never disable a smoke alarm.

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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.