The American Red Cross has been very busy of late, helping New Jersey families who have fallen victims to fires, especially in North Jersey.

North Jersey Red Cross Spokeswoman Diane Concannon says they have helped more than 100 people and have assisted more than 80 just this week who were displaced by fires in East Orange, Leonia, Passaic and Perth Amboy. In Passaic, the Red Cross has been helping seven families, a total of 27 people, including at least nine children, affected by a house fire on Market Street.

Concannon says they provide immediate shelter and meals and even clothing for victims who are left without anything outside a destroyed dwelling. She says another important part of the Red Cross assistance involves emotional support provided by volunteers. Concannon says a lot of times families are in shock right after losing their home and everything that they own.

She says the Red Cross helps with short term assistance till insurance or relatives step up, but they can steer victims toward longer term help if need be.

All emergency assistance is free to those affected by disasters, due to the generous donation of time by Red Cross volunteers and the generosity of the American public.