Friday, November 11, 2016

"It's a blessing to be with people that care"

"It was really bad. The first thing that came to mind was 9/11, and that's exactly what it looked like."

Rose Blattenbeger had no idea that 90%
of the American Red Cross workforce are
volunteers until she came to the shelter
at Lackawanna High School
Rose Blattenberger lives in Bethlehem Park in Lackawanna, and says the massive fire that broke out at the former Bethlehem Steel plant on Wednesday, November 9 was terrifying.

"We were so lucky that the wind went to the opposite side, otherwise all those houses would've gotten on fire, and everything would've gone down like dominoes," she said. Unfortunately, the winds shifted the next day, and the thick, black smoke forced Rose and her neighbors to evacuate. She was one of 13 people who spent Thursday night at a Red Cross shelter at Lackawanna High School.

April Brough said it's a "blessing" to have
Red Cross volunteers taking care of her
and her family
"It's not home, but it's a blessing to be with people that care," Rose said of the Red Cross volunteers. "They provide us with food, beverages, and I'm lucky to be with my neighbors. It's just a blessing to be here instead of being at home, breathing that smoke."

"They go above and beyond the call of duty to be of assistance to someone who might be in a difficult situation," added April Brough, who was staying at the shelter along with her husband and three young children. April also encouraged any of her neighbors trying to stick it out to listen to the evacuation warnings: "Don't be stubborn, all that they're doing is looking is looking out for our safety. Especially seeing how well you guys have taken care of my family."

"Being here, you are with people that care. And that's the best thing that one can have is people that care, and they're nice," added Rose. "I just heard about the Red Cross, that they're all volunteers, and they don't get paid for that, and I was not aware of that. I would recommend the Red Cross sky high from now on."