Volunteers with our Disaster Action Team responded to over 35 home fires across Chicagoland since May 23 including multiple large-scale events.
5/25 Thames Parkway, Park Ridge fire
In the early morning hours last Wednesday, volunteers responded to a 4-alarm fire in a 4-story 48-unit apartment building in Park Ridge. That fire destroyed the building and displaced all residents. Volunteers were quickly on the scene to assess needs, begin casework and provided water and food to the over 100 residents and nearly 200 firefighters fighting the fire. Red Cross workers also visited with residents taken to the hospital. The following Thursday, an informational reception center was opened at the Park Ridge Village Hall to provide resources and individual care connections to those affected. Volunteer caseworkers continue to assist many of the people displaced from their homes.
5/30 Grand Bear Lodge, Utica fire
A fire at the Grand Bear Lodge Resort in Utica broke out Monday evening. Red Cross volunteers responded to provide food and water to the working firefighters and connect with people displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is currently assisting nearly 20 people affected.
5/30 Park Avenue, Calumet City fire
A 5-alarm fire broke out Monday evening at a multiple-building apartment complex in Calumet City. Volunteers arrived on the scene and met with people displaced from the fire on a cooling bus that had been secured. Many people affected were only able to escape with the clothes they had on. Residents in buildings affected by fire, smoke and water damage are displaced as well as buildings without power now due to the fire. Local leaders from Calumet City provided lodging for many displaced people at hotels for 2 nights. Following that arrangement, the Red Cross set up a shelter at the Sandridge Community Center in Calumet City providing a safe place to sleep, food and snacks and individual casework for people displaced by the fire. So far families have come to utilize the Red Cross workers for casework and information but no overnight guests have been reported.
Beyond these events, volunteers still responded to over 30 other home fires and assisted the people and families affected by them. Assistance can mean providing support to find temporary housing, helping to replace medications and other health related items, disaster mental health support, direct financial assistance, recovery planning and more.
A fire can take a home in as little as two minutes. Therefore, escaping in less than two minutes can be the difference between survival and tragedy. The American Red Cross encourages everyone to talk to their children about fire safety to help families stay safe and prepared.
If you need assistance after a home fire or disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 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 us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Twitter @RedCrossIL.