MRYTLE BEACH, S.C. – In March 2013 Susan McFarland’s mother and sister were victims of the Windsor Green Apartment fire that damaged or destroyed 26 buildings and displaced the residents of 108 apartments.
The apartment fire was due to the Carolina Forest Fire that ravaged parts of Horry County. The Red Cross Coastal SC Chapter volunteers responded and assisted the victims of the fire and opened a shelter at a local school.
“My mother, Teresa, and my sister, Rosemary were victims of the Windsor Green fire in March 2013,” McFarland said.
McFarland said at the time of the fire they were away from the condo at a show. When they found out about the fire in their development they tried to return, but were turned away by the police on the scene because of the fire.
They went to the Red Cross shelter, and awaited word on the fate of their condo. Teresa was taking numerous medications, but was particularly concerned about her insulin which was in the condo. They were advised later that night their condo was destroyed. Teresa was put in touch with a Red Cross nurse who was able to secure insulin for her while overnight at the shelter. The two relocated to a hotel the next day to be more comfortable and await the next steps they knew they would have to take to rebuild their lives.
McFarland called them when she learned of the fire, and her mother told her, “She didn’t know what they would have done without the Red Cross.”
The Red Cross made arrangements for both their shelter and medications needs. Her mother and sister both told her they were ok, because the Red Cross was “taking care of us.”
As a result of this experience Susan was so touched by the caring attitude of the volunteers on site who cared for her family she has become a Red Cross volunteer at the Woods River Chapter in Gaylax, Va. She hopes to deploy nationally this year to help victims the way her family was assisted. Her boyfriend also is volunteering and they have both become qualified DAT members, ERV drivers and shelter workers. Because of the caring example she saw, she wanted to be able to give back to the community. Susan said she is now retired and wanted to “pay-it-forward.”