Dozens of residents were forced from their homes this week in Brunswick, where two separate apartment building fires broke out within days of each other. Both fires drew American Red Cross response.
Late Monday night, fire broke out at the Hickory Hill Apartments. It drove residents from 24 units away from their homes. More than 60 people were affected.
A four year-old girl died in the fire. Six others were injured.
The Red Cross set up an area inside Hilkert Hall, on the campus of St. Ambrose Catholic Church nearby, to allow volunteers to assist the affected residents, who were given more than $9,000 collectively in financial assistance. The money was to be used for lodging, food, clothing, and whatever the residents needed to help get them through the initial hours and days following the disaster.
In addition, neighbors brought clothes, food, household items and cash donations to the church, where the affected residents were invited to sort through the donations and take what they needed.
The Red Cross will provide follow-up assistance, such as referrals to other community agencies and mental health counseling as needed.
Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross
The second fire in Brunswick occurred early Thursday morning, at the Laurel Hill Apartments, where one unit was destroyed and 11 others were damaged. Assistance totaling at least $3,500 was given to the affected residents.
There were no serious injuries reported.
The Red Cross offers free smoke alarm installation and fire safety information through the Operation Save-A-Life initiative. You can learn more at redcross.org/neoosal.
And donations for those affected by disasters big and small can always be made by calling 1-800 RED CROSS, or by logging onto redcross.org, or by sending the words RED CROSS via text message to 90999.