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Reception Center Opened for Families Displaced by Edgewater Fire

EDGEWATER, NJ, January 22, 2015 ─ The American Red Cross, together with the Borough of Edgewater, Bergen County Office of Emergency Management and the Edgewater Office of Emergency Management, opened a reception center at the Edgewater Community Center, 1167 River Road to help the more than 400 families displaced by Wednesday’s fire at an apartment complex on Russel Avenue in Edgewater, New Jersey.

Approximately 240 families residing at the Russel Avenue apartment building have been displaced by the fire. An additional 168 families from a neighboring building have been evacuated and may be able to return if the building is deemed safe and utilities are restored. 

The Bergen County Humane Society opened a pet shelter at the neighboring American Legion. The society had supplies on hand to help those families who evacuated with their animals.

Affected families gathered at the reception center to take shelter from the cold and receive updates on the status of their homes. Five members of the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) were at the center to help any families in need of emergency assistance. Nearly all those affected were insured and able to secure local accommodations. The Borough of Edgewater provided lodging for the remaining families. 

The Edgewater Community Center will be open Thursday, January 22 with representatives from local agencies and organizations, including the Red Cross, to assist affected families. 

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                                       

About the American Red Cross North Jersey Region 

The American Red Cross North Jersey Region provides programs and services throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren, with a combined population of 5.7 million. The region trains and mobilizes more than 3,330 volunteers who support the delivery of services in the community. Last year, the Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 494 local home fires, helping 1,130 displaced families; collected 25,420 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided 1,877 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained 60,441 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. Follow the North Jersey Region on Twitter @RedCrossNorthNJ.

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American Red Cross North Jersey Region
Diane Concannon, 609-206-4043 (cell)
Erica Viviani, 973-309-3479 (cell)