American Red Cross aids Buchanan fire victimsPublished 11:17am Thursday, August 22, 2013
The American Red Cross of Berrien and Van Buren Counties is continuing to assist residents affected by the fire at Parkside Terrace Apartments in Buchanan Wednesday evening.
Thirty-five people lost their homes and belongings in the fire.
The Red Cross immediately assisted individuals who had no place to stay and opened a shelter at Buchanan High School. Today, the Red Cross is reaching out to other families whose apartments were affected to see if they need assistance.
Those affected by the fire can contact the American Red Cross of Berrien and Van Buren Counties at (269) 556-9619 to get more information on assistance.
Red Cross volunteers on the scene were members of the chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night. Assisting Red Cross volunteers at the Parkside Terrace Apartment fire also provided food and hydration for responding fire departments.
The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan.
• Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of fatal home fires by half according to the National Fire Protection Association
• Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms
• Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year
• Having a plan in place can help you escape, including at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home
• Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year
For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit, redcross.org/homefires.
To help the Red Cross respond to, prepare for, and prevent emergencies, donate by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, visiting redcross.org, or texting RED CROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to disaster relief.