On Saturday afternoon, American Red Cross volunteers rushed to the scene of a large fire at 36 Cathedral Avenue in Hempstead, New York. Twenty fire companies from across the area responded in extreme heat to put out the blaze. Initially, two large apartment buildings were evacuated.
More than a dozen Red Cross employees and volunteers were on scene to meet with the residents and address their immediate needs. Of the 15 families the Red Cross registered at the scene, 8 families were in need of emergency services that the Red Cross provided. This included debit cards to be used for overnight shelter as well as clothing and other basic necessities.
The Red Cross also provided hundreds of bottles of water and snacks to both firefighters and affected families and set up a temporary relief center for residents at the nearby Kennedy Park Recreation Center.
Georgia Laudani was among the displaced residents. She and her husband went out celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary when the fire began in their apartment and took the life of their pet cat. Their entire apartment was destroyed yet Georgia is grateful to everyone from the Red Cross for helping her through the immediate aftermath of her tragedy.
“I don’t know what I would have done without you guys,” Georgia said.