Persistent persuasion from friends and family finally got Kelly Allen, displaced after a fire at her Holts Summit apartment building, to meet with American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter volunteers.
“Everybody has been telling me to come up here and my sister made me call,” said Allen, who lived in the Evergreen Apartment building that burned on Oct. 3. “She made me call Tuesday.”
Allen is glad she made the call. After talking Wednesday morning with volunteers Dawn Hart and Don Barnett at chapter headquarters in Jefferson City, Allen received much-needed financial assistance.
“I appreciate it because I spent what money I did have renting a room at a hotel,” Allen said. “Now, I have money for food and clothing.
“The assistance is very important. I don’t have to go hungry and at least I’ll have clothes to wear.”
Allen was in Fulton when the fire started early on that Friday afternoon, but it didn’t take long for her to hear about the incident.
“I got bombarded with calls and texts,” she said. “Josh (a friend) texted me and it was like “I think your apartment building is on fire.’ I texted my neighbor who lived in apartment 4 and she’s like ‘Yeah, the apartments are on fire.’”
Allen didn’t get back to Holts Summit until about 3 p.m., but couldn’t get to the building, located just off Route AA, because of the vehicles parked in the drive.
She first went to her sister’s house, which is in Holts Summit. Allen, who lost her cat in the fire, later returned to the apartment complex. She was told to go to city hall to meet with building management and the Red Cross.
Allen went to the city building where the Red Cross established an incident command center. She met with an apartment representative, who gave her money from the complex.
She said she left after meeting with the apartment official because she didn’t realize what else was being offered.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” said Allen, who still gets emotional talking about the fire.
Since the fire, she has kept her mind occupied with other thoughts.
“I’ve been trying to stay busy, so I keep my nose in my phone,” she said. “I try to stay distracted.”
Red Cross volunteers have assisted 37 adults and 19 children impacted by the fire at the 29-unit building. Volunteers will continue to monitor the clients’ recovery process.