MERIDEN, CONN., May 10, 2015 – The American Red Cross is helping 33 people – 26 adults and seven children in 15 families – after a fire Saturday at Crown Village Condominiums on Crown Street in Meriden. The Red Cross responded to the scene on Saturday, meeting with families to assess their emergency needs in the wake of the fire.
Red Cross workers established a shelter Saturday in the Crown Village community center to provide a place for residents unable to arrange alternate housing. By Sunday morning, all residents were able to secure other temporary housing and the shelter was closed.
Between Saturday and Sunday, Red Cross team members met with families one-on-one to assess needs and provide emergency assistance. That assistance included financial aid to replace clothing, groceries and blankets, as well as toys for the displaced children. Trained mental health and health services Red Cross workers were also on the scene to help families with emotional needs at a difficult time, said Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman. “We are fortunate to have trained, licensed mental health providers who volunteer their time with us to help families facing the stress and upheaval of a disaster.”
While the Red Cross has met with 15 families, there were additional building residents who were not at the scene and have not yet contacted the Red Cross for assistance, Shipman said. “Our team remains available to assist residents in the wake of this fire. Remaining residents needing assistance can contact us for help at 1-877-287-3327.”
Shipman said the fire is an important reminder to everyone that planning and early warning are keys to safely escaping a fire. “We urge everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes and to develop and practice a fire escape plan.”
Shipman said the Red Cross is offering to meet with any family to help them develop a personalized plan and to install smoke alarms free of charge in their homes. “The presence of smoke alarms cuts the risk of dying a home fire in half. We want to make sure every family has the extra edge that smoke alarms provide.” To schedule a home visit, Shipman said Connecticut residents can visit http://www.redcross.org/ct/schedule-a-visit. “It is easy to schedule an appointment. Visits last about 20 minutes and the smoke alarms and emergency planning tips we offer could save your life or the life of someone you love.”
Shipman thanked the many Red Cross team members who responded to the fire over the weekend. “It’s a team effort that powers the work of the Red Cross and we’re grateful to people who gave their time to help others.” Responders to the fire included: Missy Lundeen, Ryan Lundeen, John Glendon, Geoff Harris, Ester Cabral, Andrew Curtis, Peter Deleonardo, Scott Somerville, Pam Milici, Sue Parker, Dave Denino, Lauren Shuda, Josalee Thrift,Chris Costello and Denise Green.
PREVENT HOME FIRES:
The American Red Cross has launched a campaign to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years. There are two actions you can take to substantially reduce the risk of death or injury in a home fire.
Install smoke alarms: Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a fire in half. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home inside bedrooms and sleeping areas. The Red Cross offers a program to install FREE smoke alarms in your home and provide additional fire safety information. Call 1-877-287-3327 and press option one to request a home fire safety visit or register for a visit at http://www.redcross.org/ct/schedule-a-visit.
Practice fire drills at home: Fire experts agree that you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. Use this Home Fire Escape Plan worksheet to plan your evacuation and practice it at least twice a year as a family.
Learn more about the Red Cross home fire prevention campaign.
Fire takes everything. It takes security. It takes safety, dignity and routine. Help the Red Cross give back what fire takes – the items that provide safety and comfort.