With rash of fires amid cold snap, NJ volunteers soldier on
The warming trend continues in the Garden State, with temperatures expected to climb up near 40 Thursday — and we could approach 60 degrees by the end of the week.
This is especially good news for everyone who works outdoors, including the American Red Cross New Jersey Region.
According to the nonprofit's CEO, Ana Montero, since Jan. 1 volunteers responded to more than 35 fires in the state and helped 260 people from 92 families.
“Just last Friday alone we responded to three fires in the city of Newark. The high winds actually caused the fire to spread to several additional homes," she said.
“We’ve also been working with the Atlantic City Housing Authority to help nearly 300 residents of a high-rise building who were displaced following a fire last week.”
So far in 2018 the number of house fires that the Red Cross has responded to has been twice as high as normal.
Montero said these are very difficult situations for Red Cross volunteers as well as firefighters who respond in extreme weather conditions at all hours of the day and night.
“When the Red Cross responds to a fire scene, our volunteers meet with the families to make sure they have a place to stay, to stay warm, we provide emergency financial assistance, as well as the immediate needs like food and clothing and temporary lodging as needed.”
She said you can get information about keeping your home safe at redcross.org/wintersafety.
The recent severe winter weather also impacted Red Cross blood and platelet donation drives.
“If you can safely come to give while the weather is nice, please help us to meet this urgent need.”
To find out more information about donating blood you can visit redcrossblood.org.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com
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