April proved to be a devastating month for home fires in the Eastern North Carolina Region.
In the 53-county region, 184 families lost their homes to fire in April. This number is up nearly 24 percent from last year.
“We were on the scene of a home fire about six times every single day in April,” said Barry Porter, regional chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Eastern North Carolina. “Families in our region couldn’t catch a break. And it’s our job to be right beside them after a fire, providing hope, financial assistance and guidance in order to for them to begin their recovery.”
In early April, The American Red Cross responded to two large apartment fires in the Triangle, which contributed to about 7 percent of the April total. Of those cases, two were multi-unit apartment fires– 12-units at Pinnacle Apartments on Edwards Mill Road behind Crabtree Valley Mall; and a 12-unit block of apartments on Coolridge Court, in Raleigh.
Jesse Gephart and his fiancé were victims of the Pinnacle Apartment fire. “We lost everything that we owned, including our two beloved cats,” Gephart said. “Throughout the following days, we had multiple calls from the Red Cross, inquiring about our various needs: medical, counseling, furnishings, etc. I was so overwhelmed and blown away by the support they provided us. You see the Red Cross respond to tragedies in the media, but I never thought our ‘little’ apartment fire would warrant their cavalry, but I can't imagine making it through those first few days without them. They were such a source of strength and compassion in a time when we were at such a loss for what to do and how to move forward.”
At every fire, the Red Cross is there to provide families with financial assistance, shelter, food, and mental health services if needed.
How can you help? Make a contribution – big or small – so the Red Cross can continue to lend a hand to every family affected by a home fire: www.redcross.org/enc. Or, volunteer to help families on the scene of a disaster: www.redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.