The Herald Bulletin

December 12, 2013

Red Cross offers assistance to nine displaced by fires

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Nine Anderson residents, displaced Thursday in two separate apartment fires, were being assisted by the American Red Cross in finding temporary housing.

The first fire happened at about 11 a.m. at an apartment building at 2608 Columbus Ave. The second fire happened at about 1:45 p.m. at an older Victorian home in the 233 W. 11th Stt. Fire crews demolished both buildings for safety reasons.

Ann Gregson, spokesperson for the American Red Cross Indianapolis branch, said her organization helped find housing for the vitcims. The nine people displaced from their homes were taken to the Salvation Army Anderson branch to keep warm, and two disaster relief volunteers from the Red Cross were sent to determine the victims' needs. Gregson said the Red Cross is primarily concerned with providing immediate need for disaster victims.

"It pretty much depends on the family. It could be food, shelter, clothing or emotional support," Gregson said. "In this instance, we still don't know exactly what the needs are, but we'll have a better idea after we meet with them."

For the victims of Thursday's fires, the Red Cross will likely provide hotel accommodations and other immediate needs. Gregson said the organization might handle needs for a day or several weeks, depending on the victim. Typically, if someone needs long-term assistance, the Red Cross offers referrals to other community agencies.

"Depending on the circumstances, we could help with first month's rent or some clothes. It all depends," she said. "It's really a matter of doing whatever it takes to get you back on your feet."

Gregson said the best way someone could contribute would be to make a financial donation, but volunteers are always welcome.

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