Red Cross Aids Fire Victims - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/01/02

Red Cross Aids Fire Victims

A fire leaves many people homeless and the Red Cross needs help, helping them. Early yesterday morning, a building at the Plantation Apartments in Garden City went up in flames. By the time fire fighters got to the scene, it was too late; the building was destroyed. Two people were sent to the Augusta burn center, and more than a 20 others lost everything.

The recovery effort is over. Everything in these apartments burned to ashes by intense heat and fire. But from the moment firefighters got the call, Red Cross workers were there giving help to the victims in the form of shoes, clothing and personal need items such as toothbrushes and razorblades.

But beyond the usual challenges faced by Red Cross workers, the victims of this fire presented a different challenge for the volunteers.

"None of them spoke English except for one man who spoke broken English," explained John Wright of the Red Cross.

By afternoon, the Red Cross had more than 20 Spanish-speaking interpreters ready to help.

"It's bad any time you got someone who lost everything, but here you've got people who don't speak English, who are challenged in getting some service from the community anyway," said Wright. "Now they've lost everything."

One bike is still locked for safety, another is charred by the fire at the scene. You can see the remnants of family life, but today the only thing investigators are trying to do is put the pieces together and figure out what started this terrible fire But thanks to the Red Cross, 21 people affected by fire can now concentrate on getting their lives back. 

If you would like to help the victims of yesterday's fire, just contact the Red Cross at 651-5300.

Reported by: Ryan Young, ryoung@wtoc.com

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