Less than two weeks into the new year, the American Red Cross Eastern New York Region has already provided immediate emergency aid to more than 70 people affected by home fires. In fact, in just the last four days the Red Cross responded to multi-family fires in Schenectady, Troy, Little Falls and Boonville, helping a total of 46 adults and 26 children (as of Thursday morning).
On average, the Red Cross responds to at least one fire per day in Eastern New York and helps 4-5 people per response. The last time volunteers provided aid to this many people in less than one week was last August, when a large fire on Myrtle Avenue in Albany displaced 45 residents at once.
"Unfortunately, home fires are an everyday occurrence in our region, but it's not every day that we see fires affecting this many people in such close succession," said Gary Striar, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross. "It's been a challenging start to the new year for dozens of families. Thankfully, with the support of our incredibly dedicated volunteers and generous local donors, the Red Cross continues to be there after fires large and small to help meet people's most urgent needs."
In 2019, Red Cross volunteers responded to 415 home fires and provided direct financial assistance and emotional support to more than 1,900 people. Home fires made up more than 94% of local disaster response activity across the 24-county Eastern New York Region last year.
"Home fires impact so many lives in our region, and they keep our Disaster Action Teams busy 365 days a year," added Striar. "2020 is clearly no exception, and we will need generous support from our community again this year to ensure that the Red Cross remains ready to help whenever and wherever we are called."
There are many ways to support the Red Cross in your community in 2020:
- To make a financial donation, please visit redcross.org/donate or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
- To learn more about volunteering, visit redcross.org/volunteer. Enter your zip code to browse volunteer opportunities in your area and apply online.
- To see how you can take action to prevent home fires, visit redcross.org/homefires.