December fires take the happy out of holidays

December Fires
Our thoughts and prayers go out to every family that experiences the loss of their home, but it sometimes seems more heartbreaking when the disaster is around Christmas

Numerous fires during the last days of 2013 took some of the happy out of the holidays for families who lost their homes and possessions during December.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to every family that experiences the loss of their home, but it sometimes seems more heartbreaking when the disaster is around Christmas,” said Phillip Iman, a chapter disaster specialist. “Many of these families lost everything they had in the fire. Their homes, and their Christmas, which is supposed to be a happy time, were just gone.”

The chapter responded to 24 single-family fires and one multi-family fire through December’s 31 days. Volunteers assisted 84 new clients. The chapter spent $10,801.99, which is an average of $415.46 per case and $128.60 per client.

“The volume kept our volunteers busy, but there were no complaints,” Iman said. “Our caseworkers are extremely dedicated. Those that responded gave up the comfort of their own homes and time that could have been spent with their families to go out at all hours of the day and night and in cold December weather to make sure someone else’s family got the help they needed.”

Volunteers responded to fires in 12 counties during December. One of the fires in Callaway County involved a fatality.

Responses included:

Boone County: four single-family fires; assisted 14 new clients; spent $2,079.54

Callaway County: four single-family fires; assisted 11 new clients; spent $1,367.78

Chariton County: two single-family fires; assisted three new clients; spent $395

Cole County: one single-family fire; one multi-family fire; assisted 15 new clients; spent $2,050.05

Crawford County: three single-family fires; assisted 10 new clients; spent $1,520.64

Dent County: one single-family fire; assisted two new clients; spent $335

Miller County: one single-family fire; assisted one new client; spent $160

Montgomery County: two single-family fires; assisted five new clients; spent $600.98

Morgan County: one single-family fire; assisted three new clients; spent $778

Osage County: two single-family fires; assisted four new clients; spent $590

Phelps County: one single-family fire; assisted four new clients; spent $115

Saline County: two single-family fires; assisted 13 new clients; spent $810