American Red Cross in Erie provides recovery services for victims of tragedies

Local News

Two recent fires are raising concerns about how you can stay safe and warm during the winter months.

There are resources and services available to you in a time of need. The American Red Cross is already hard at work helping families find a temporary place to call home just days before the holidays.

The colder winter months are causing a spike in house fires. Staying warm in the winter comes with a cost for both your heating bill and most importantly, your safety.

Two house fires this past weekend ended with damage in both homes, one incident on Garloch Drive and the other on East 10th Street happened just days apart.

“There appears to be too many combustible items stored right next to an apartment sized furnace that was on the second floor of this establishment on (East) 10th Street,” said Mark Polanski, City of Erie, Fire Inspector.

While no injures were reported, accidents like these are reminders to homeowners that there are ways to keep your home safely prepared for the colder weather.

“We like to keep a nice clearance of possibly three feet around any type of heating device, be it electric or natural gas,” said Polanski.

These fires left home owners displaced right before the holidays. If you find yourself in the middle of a tragedy, the Red Cross wants you to know they are there to help you.

“We met with the families at the scene over the weekend and we gave them an initial assistance card that has the funding on it that can provide immediate lodging for themselves and they can go out and get clothing and food,” said Pam Masi, Executive Director, American Red Cross.

The Red Cross determines funding based upon family size and medical needs.

Since the beginning of November, Pam Masi, Executive Director of the Red Cross, says the organization has already responded to 10 fires.

The Red Cross’ main goal is to help you find shelter following a disaster and getting you back on your feet.

The Red Cross also asks the community to consider donating to the organization in order to help families in an instance of a tragedy.

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