Eastern Mass Red Cross helps residents displaced in Cambridge

Cambridge Fire, Eastern Massachusetts Red Cross Response
It’s scary,” he said. “But it puts things in perspective.

Reylon Yount couldn’t believe his luck.

The Harvard University sophomore was at work when a fire broke out at his Harvard Street apartment building on June 5. When he got word of the blaze and came home to the scene, he wasn’t sure what he and his roommates would have left.

And then firefighters pulled out one of his most prized possessions – a Chinese dulcimer.

“It was underneath a window firefighters had to smash out in the apartment,” Yount said. “If this is fine, I’m hopeful.”

American Red Cross volunteers responded to 376 Harvard St. in Cambridge, an 8-unit building, shortly after firefighters extinguished the fire. Cambridge Emergency Management Officials estimated about 32 residents would be affected.

Volunteers met with residents under the shade in a neighbor’s yard across the street. There, they comforted the residents and worked to determine their needs. While some will be staying with friends, others will receive emergency temporary shelter at a hotel, and funds for food and clothing. Everyone will get a comfort kit, which includes toiletries like toothbrushes and wash cloths, and smoke kits – so they can wash the smoke out of their salvaged clothing and linens.

Donor dollars paid for the services rendered on Wednesday, including the water and snacks residents munched on as they waited to check out their apartments.

As he waited to see what was left of his unit, Yount’s outlook remained positive.

“It’s scary,” he said. “But it puts things in perspective.”