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Des Moines Resident Benefits From Aid After Apartment Fire

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"I stayed in the hospital a week, and the Red Cross came to my aid when I got out."

When General Williams of Des Moines, Iowa, had nowhere else to turn after a fire destroyed his apartment, the American Red Cross stepped in to lend its support.

On Dec. 20, 2014, Williams’ apartment caught fire while he was cooking, and his immediate response was to save his canine companion.

“When I woke up, there was just smoke everywhere, and I couldn’t see anything,” Williams said. “My first thought was to get my dog out, so we kind of helped each other out of the house. I went back in to try to put it out with the fire extinguisher, which I did end up putting it out.”

Unfortunately, after the fire was extinguished, the stove ignited again. By this time, the fire department was on its way, but the apartment had an extensive amount of damage, he said.

Williams spent roughly one week in an Iowa City hospital being treated for smoke inhalation. While in the hospital after his apartment fire, Williams contacted the Red Cross, explained his situation and asked for a helping hand.

“I stayed in the hospital a week, and the Red Cross came to my aid when I got out,” Williams said. “Before I got out, we had talked, and they got me a hotel room.”

Along with the hotel room, he also appreciated the vouchers he received. The vouchers could be used at different thrift stores to replace certain items he lost in the fire. Once Williams found a new apartment, the Red Cross paid his deposit, as well.

Williams explained that if his family were to ever go through a similar crisis and couldn’t reach out to relatives, they would be able to reach out to the Red Cross.

“I’ve heard good things about the Red Cross and how it has helped others that I’ve known that have been in situations like that,” he said. “I just unfortunately had nobody to reach out to here, but the Red Cross came to my aid, and I’m very thankful,” he said.