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Fires burn through Red Cross funds

Posted January 22, 2011

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— A rash of home fires in the Triangle is burning through funds the Red Cross designates to help the victims of fires.

Red Cross volunteers were called out to 130 fires at single-family homes this past December, Triangle Red Cross Executive Director Barry Porter said. That's nearly double the 70 single-family house fires they responded to in December 2009.

Several fires have already struck in 2011, including an apartment fire on Westville Court Tuesday that displaced 12 families.

The Red Cross provides food, clothing and emergency shelter to victims of such disasters. But the large number of fires has drained the funds set aside to help.

"We've spent about $140,000 more than what we budgeted, and so financial contributions are important to us to make a difference when an emergency strikes," Porter said.

The charity does not get government funding and relies solely on donations.

Single-family homes are the most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to.

Porter said the increase in fires this winter might be due to the colder than normal weather.

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