Local News

Red Cross Needs Help Helping Fire Victims

Posted January 14, 1999

— Eight Cumberland County families have been left homeless by an early morning fire, just days after another apartment complex fire left eight families homeless. Now the people who help fire victims need help themselves.

Firefighters say the flames spread quickly at the Southwind Condominiums Friday morning.

More than 60 firefighters from nine different fire departments battled the blaze at the complex, near Spring Lake.

All of the residents escaped unharmed, but three of the units were gutted by fire. Five others suffered heavy smoke and water damage.

Nearly 20 families have been displaced by fire this week in Cumberland County alone. Two apartment fires, and a handful of house fires, have sent residents running with just the clothes on their backs.

Behind the fire trucks at most large fires, you will find anAmerican Red CrossDisaster Truck, and volunteers to console victims.

Before the flames were even out at Friday morning's apartment fire, the Red Cross was helping Edward Favors and his wife.

"It's a very worthy cause," Favors says. "It's very noble, how quickly they were on the scene, because my wife is kind of in shock right now."

"Our main important thing is that the family's taken care of," says Frank Morton of the American Red Cross. "We make sure they have a place to stay for a short time, until they can get back on their feet," he says.

The Red Cross also provides vouchers for food and clothing.

In December alone,The Highlands Chapter of the American Red Crossassisted in an overwhelming 23 fires. More than $10,000 in aid went to help the victims.

Friday's fire is the 15th in January already; many of the fires have involved multiple families.

The disaster funds are draining a lot faster than expected.

Although the American Red Cross says it will never stop helping victims even with a shortage of funds, they may have to hold special fundraisers to continue.

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