Monday, February 23, 2015

Red Cross Responds to Six Weekend Fires in WNY, Greater Rochester

UPDATE: Since this release was issued Monday morning, volunteers Jeanie Shiffer and Jason Carmen helped six people after a fire on 10th St in Jamestown, and Jessica and Suzanne are on the way to a fire on Saltvale Road in Wyoming to help 3 adults and a child. Eight fires, 56 people since Saturday. Thank you, volunteers!!

Volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to six separate fires in Western New York and Greater Rochester, providing immediate emergency assistance for up to 47 people. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed, and Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available to help with the emotional aspect of disaster. Those affected will meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan.

Greater Rochester Chapter volunteers Doug Scarson and Malachi Rundgren responded to the scene of a fire on East Wautoma Beach Road Hilton, providing food and clothing for one person. Early Monday morning, Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers Greg Langen and Lucille Frisicano were called to a fire on North Goodman Street in Rochester, providing temporary housing, food and clothing for one person, and food and clothing for another family of five.

Western New York Chapter volunteers Phil Baker and Deborah Miller first responded to a fire in Ellington, Chautauqua County Friday night, providing three adults with vouchers for food and clothing. Early Saturday morning, DAT volunteers Dominic DiGioralmo and Bob Shook responded to an apartment fire in Cuba, Allegany County, where they opened four cases, providing immediate emergency assistance for six people. Also Saturday, volunteers Diane Sargent, Metrice Jenkins and Luona Yang helped five adults and two children after a fire on Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo. Early Monday morning, Sargent and fellow volunteers George Ortiz and Gwen Gonzalez responded to the scene of a fire on 19th Street in Niagara Falls, providing housing, food and clothing for seven people from two families. A third family of 17 is expected to seek assistance later today.

The American Red Cross has launched an initiative to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the next five years. The Red Cross is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. As part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, the Red Cross is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to install free smoke detectors in homes that need them. For more information, please contact Individual and Community Preparedness Specialist Veronica Chiesi Brown at 585-241-4405 or

To support home fire survivors across the country, the American Red Cross has launched a new social media campaign called #GiveWhatFireTakes. Donors nationwide have the opportunity to support Red Cross relief efforts. For every amount raised, the Red Cross is able to provide not only recovery items for home fire survivors, but also critical fire safety training and smoke alarm installations to help prevent deaths and injuries. Visit our Crowdwise campaign page, make a direct donation on and share what moved you to join the campaign on social media with #GiveWhatFireTakes.

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