Written by: Weysan Dun
(Lincoln, Nebraska, October 26, 2014)
The American Red Cross responded in early morning hours of Sunday, October 26, 2014 to provide assistance, comfort and shelter when a fire caused serious damage to an apartment building at 1615 Garfield Street, in Lincoln, Nebraska. The fire resulted in the closure of the entire multi-unit apartment building. A team of well-trained Red Cross workers responded to the fire scene and then set up a shelter at the Red Cross facility in Lincoln to provide a safe and comfortable place to spend the night for three families who were affected by the fire and had no place else to stay.
The Red Cross provided more than just shelter for those affected by the fire. Red Cross workers assisted the apartment building tenants with contacting their landlord and setting up a meeting so they could get details about returning to their homes. When the Red Cross was unable to contact a number of the tenants in the affected building, Red Cross staff posted a notice on the door of the sealed building to let affected tenants know a shelter had been opened and provide a Red Cross contact person who furnish assistance. People staying at the Red Cross shelter were provided meals, toiletry kits and other assistance for their immediate needs, as well as comfort and encouragement during a stressful time.
Robert Rice and Nancy Towns were one of the families who sought refuge at the Red Cross Shelter after the fire. Robert said he and Nancy were both asleep when Robert’s son woke them in the middle of the night, telling there was a fire in the adjacent apartment. They heard lots of noise and could see the flames in the apartment next to theirs as soon as they stepped into the hallway outside their apartment so they had to flee the building with no time grab any possessions or clothing. Having no place else to stay, they were very grateful for the availability of the Red Cross shelter and for the assistance in coordinating with their landlord.