Two response in past 24 hours; three fires in five days in St. Albans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE… (Calais, VT and St. Albans, VT – July 30, 2014) Twice yesterday, Red Cross volunteers were called upon to help area residents in need after fire devastated their homes. These fires, plus a third last Friday in St. Albans left a total of eleven people in need of a helping hand. Each fire is a stark reminder that while home heating systems may be the leading cause of fire in our area, that we must all be vigilant and ready to respond to fire all year round.
The latest Red Cross response was a house fire in Calais, VT last night that displaced a family of four from their Georges Road home. The responding Red Cross volunteers helped identify the family’s emergency needs and provided temporary lodging and financial assistance.
A Kellogg Road fire in St. Albans last night destroyed a mobile home. The Red Cross has now assisted three residents in connection with that fire. Just this past Friday, the Red Cross helped out a family of five whose Edward Street home in St. Albans was struck by fire. Temporary lodging and financial assistance were provided in that instance. An overnight fire struck a South Main Street home in St. Albans in the early hours of today, but the Red Cross was not called upon in that case. Local responders advised that all residents had arrangements for temporary lodging. The Red Cross has shared with St. Albans officials that if any of the eleven displaced by the blaze may be in need of other emergency assistance, to have them reach out to us.
Winter is the busiest time for the Red Cross, but last year’s 200 plus responses, more than 90% of which related to fire, came throughout the year. The Red Cross urges people to take steps today to prevent and detect fires to ensure their safety. This includes:
Install smoke detectors in appropriate places in the home; install new batteries every year; regularly test your detector; and replace smoke detectors at least every ten years;
- Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone that lives in the home. The plan should include a safe place to meet outside the home;
- Never smoke in bed; and
- Keep items that catch fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as stoves and heat sources.
To help people affected by fires as well as devastating natural disasters, a donation can be made to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org, call 802-660-9130, ext. 111, text REDCROSS to 90999, or mail your contribution to American Red Cross, 29 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.