The Red Cross responds, aids in the aftermath of devastating loss
By Jim McIntyre, Regional Communications Manager, American Red Cross
January 8, 2020 – December 6, 2019, was a big day in Mansfield, Ohio. The town was anticipating the big game, the Mansfield High School Tygers taking on Trotwood-Madison in the Division III High School Football Championship game. It would be the first appearance in a state championship game for a team from Richland County.
Classes in the Mansfield schools were cancelled in preparation for the game later that evening.
On Springmill Street, five children were home playing. Their mom, Nancy Hines-Adkins, had an appointment to keep, so she left her 14-year-old in charge. Mom wasn’t gone long before the shrill siren of a smoke alarm alerted the children to a fire.
All five children escaped unharmed. One remembered mom’s instructions to run to the nearby fire station. But by the time firefighters were able to put water on the flames, everything inside the house was lost.
“The Red Cross has been very supportive,” said Nancy, two weeks after the fire occurred. “People call me from the Red Cross every single day to make sure me and my family are OK.”
The home on Springmill St. was gutted.
The family received immediate financial assistance, which was used to help them find lodging, food and clothing. Continuing care includes connecting the family to resources that can help them find another place to live.
Five days before Christmas, the children visited the Mansfield American Red Cross office on Smith Avenue to choose toys donated by employees of TravelCenters of America and the Red Cross.
Nancy knows that the help she received immediately after the fire was made possible only by the generous donations of the American public. “It’s very important for people who lose everything. In the blink of an eye everything is gone and they (the Red Cross) are there to help, so donate!”
She also has a vital message about smoke alarms: “They’re very important. Make sure you have them. It will save your life.”
Unfortunately for the Mansfield High Tygers, their quest for a state championship ended that night with an overtime loss. But Nancy is grateful that on that day, a smoke alarm alerted her children to the home fire, and that they escaped unharmed. They suffered a devastating loss of their home but no lives were lost.
Visit soundthealarm.org/neo to request smoke alarms for your home and to learn more about home fire safety. To make a donation to help families like Nancy’s, visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Visit our YouTube channel here to see a video featuring Nancy and her family.
Edited By Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer