Jentrie Stearns was on her lunch break from work when she got a call from her fiancé with news no one wants to hear – their apartment building was on fire.
Jentrie rushed home in time to see smoke rising from the Twin Falls apartments. A neighbor helped her three children escape the building, and in tears with their rescued pets in tow, they rushed over to hug their mom.
“It was insane,” Jentrie said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
Still struggling to grasp everything that was happening around them, Jentrie and her family were able to breathe a small sigh of relief when some unexpected visitors arrived – a Red Cross volunteer team. These Red Cross responders began meeting with the families, handling out blankets and addressing their most immediate needs like food and lodging.
“Honestly, I didn’t know the Red Cross stepped in like that,” she said. “It was amazing to know what Red Cross did. It gave us relief to know we had help.”
Jentrie and her family are living with relatives right now until their new apartment is ready. It’s been a tough time, she said, but she knows there are better days ahead. And she thanks Red Cross for giving her family comfort and care when they needed it more.
“People need to know there’s help out there, that there’s help coming,” she said. “You’re not alone.”
Each year, the Red Cross of Greater Idaho responds to hundreds of disasters, most of them home fires. To help our teams prepare for and respond to disasters big and small or learn how you can become a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org/Idaho or call 208-947-4357.