County Red Cross helps fire victims over weekend

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Several Shelby County families dealing with home fires during the freezing weather got a helping hand from the Shelby County Red Cross last weekend.

Shelby County Red Cross Executive Director Mary Kinard said the Red Cross responded to the needs of families displaced by four home fires across Shelby County and a 14-unit apartment fire at Colonial Village Apartments in Inverness.

The fires displaced a total of 39 people, 15 of those children. The families needed immediate help because of the weather conditions, Kinard said.

“It’s never a good time (for fires), but this is the worst because of the weather,” she said.

Kinard said the Red Cross provided four of the families displaced with hotel rooms, while the other families stayed with family members.

The Red Cross also provided water, food and clothes to the victims.

Kinard said at least two of the fires were the result of heating sources, while others were electrical fires.

“It’s been an extremely busy weekend, but we work hard to be prepared for our neighbors in need,” she said. “This is what those who donate money to the Red Cross help us with.”

The Red Cross also had a shelter set up at the First United Methodist Church of Alabaster if needed. The Shelby County Amateur Radio Club was set up at the shelter to help with communication.

No one stayed the night, but Red Cross volunteers were ready to help anyone in need, Kinard said.

About 10 Red Cross volunteers helped prepare for the cold weather, worked at the shelter or did casework with the displaced families over the weekend, Kinard said.

For more information on the Red Cross, visit Redcross.org.