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American Red Cross Opens Shelter in Montebello for Residents of Apartment Complex Fire

Whittier, CA October 21, 2012 — Local American Red Cross volunteers responded to an apartment fire on Wilber Ave in Montebello at approximately 10:36 p.m. yesterday. The team of Red Cross volunteers opened a shelter at Schurr High School in Montebello to provide assistance in the form of food, shelter, and emotional support to the thirty residents displaced by the fire.

“We’re deeply saddened for those affected,” said Margaret Arbini Madonna, Chapter Executive. “As we continue to provide support to those affected, we also encourage others to take action to minimize the risk of a home fire.”

The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan.

  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Have a plan in place can help you escape, including at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home.
  • Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year.
  • Red Cross volunteers on the scene were members of the Chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.

    For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit

    To make a financial donation to your local Red Cross to help people affected by house fires and other disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can - visit or call (562) 945-3944.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at