Maine Flash Report for September 25, 2013

Saturday, 9/7 – Orono (Penobscot County) Multi Family Fire. A cooking accident at off-campus housing in Orono led to a fire that displaced 12 individuals. The university housed all of the residents until they could return to their apartment. One of the residents requested Red Cross assistance for loss of food. Red Cross volunteer Bud Walkup met with the client and provided assistance.

Thursday, 9/12 – Caribou (Aroostook County) Single Family Fire. Lightning is to blame for a fire that left a man and his son homeless. Red Cross volunteer Bob Jordan, along with Disaster Action Team trainee John Kiehn (on his first case), responded. The Red Cross provided assistance for food and clothing.

Tuesday, 9/17 – Columbia (Washington County) Single Family Fire. A man was busy in his workshop when he heard the smoke detector going off in his home. By the time he responded, his home was filled with smoke. He called the fire department from a neighbor’s house, but by the time they arrived, everything inside was destroyed. Readiness Manager Rob Eaton responded; the Red Cross provided assistance with food and clothing. The client is staying with friends.

Tuesday, 9/17 – Lagrange (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. A fire started around 3 am, leaving a couple and their two daughters displaced and in desperate need of Red Cross assistance. Red Cross volunteer Corina Hamlin responded; the Red Cross provided assistance with food, clothing, and seasonal garments for four.

Wednesday, 9/18 – Freeport (Cumberland County) Single Family Fire. A fire that started in the electrical panel caused extensive damage to an apartment, displacing the tenant for an extended period of time. The tenant lives alone and was not home at the time of the incident. Upon arrival, the tenant learned that he will be displaced for an extended period of time and much of his personal belongings were destroyed as a result of smoke and water. The tenant decided to stay with family on the evening of the incident and was provided Red Cross contact information from the Freeport Fire Department. The following day, the tenant reached out to the Red Cross, and Disaster Action Team volunteer Judy Hamer responded. In an effort to help the client with replacement of critical medical equipment, Judy contacted Health Services volunteer Karen Rea, who provided assistance. The Red Cross also provided assistance for food, clothing, lodging, and referrals to local social service agencies.

Thursday, 9/19 – Portland (Cumberland County) Multi Family Fire. An early morning fire damaged the lower floors of nearly a block of Portland’s Old Port, leaving eight residents homeless and at least temporarily closing five businesses in the popular shopping and eating district. The tenants who lived in the second and third floors were able to evacuate safely, but due to building code violations, the apartment building has been deemed uninhabitable. The Portland Fire Department called the Red Cross to help assist the people who lived in the four apartments. Red Cross volunteer Michele Danois responded to the scene and quickly assessed the needs of the clients. In an effort to help clients retrieve important items from their apartment safely, Michelle collaborated with fire officials and building property management. The Red Cross provided clients of the fire with assistance for food, clothing, and lodging at a local motel. The clients have been referred to the General Assistance office to help with alternate housing plans.

Maine Flash Report for August 27, 2013

Wednesday, 8/14 – Portland (Cumberland County) Multi Family Fire. Four ladder trucks and six engines from Portland Fire Department responded to a fire that heavily damaged a three-story, nineteen-unit apartment building. The fire started in a third floor apartment and attic space. Luckily, all of the residents evacuated safely. The fire started as a result of a malfunctioning electrical appliance and was deemed accidental. The Portland Fire Department called the Red Cross to help meet the immediate needs of the nearly fifty clients displaced by this incident. The volunteers of the Disaster Action Team did a fantastic job in dealing with and solving the many issues that were brought forth with this response. Red Cross volunteers worked with a nearby community partner to utilize their building as a temporary, safe location for clients to congregate, they overcame language barriers, found available hotel rooms at a time when many hotels were sold out, and worked with first responders and Metro Bus to ensure that clients had transportation to the hotel. The Red Cross provided displaced clients with three nights lodging, then partnered with the City of Portland’s General Assistance office to ensure that all clients had alternate housing beyond the three nights. The Red Cross also provided assistance for food and clothing, and Health and Mental Health volunteers provided vital services to clients that ranged from a shoulder to lean on, to medication replacement. Many thanks to the following Red Cross Volunteers who responded: Will Clarke, Greg Cormier, Kim Cormier, Ron Martel, Carla LaRoche, Stephanie Millette, Michelle Danois, Ellin Ruffner, Jeff Haines, Jennifer Laflin, Richard Poulin, Karen Rea, Dick Brobst, Susan Henderson, as well as staff members Tammy Atwood, Paul Clark, and Eric Lynes.

Sunday, 8/25 – Bucksport (Hancock County) Multi Family Fire. A multi unit fire began hot and strong on Main St. around 3:30 pm, displacing 8 families. Red Cross volunteer David St. Louis was the first to respond at the scene and coordinated smoothly with the fire department to ensure clients were safely transported to a nearby hotel where casework was completed. David, along with fellow volunteers Bud Walkup and Jennifer DeGroff, conducted casework. Health Services was initiated by volunteers Karen Rea and Brenda Nadeau Deveau. Volunteer Clem Deveau also provided mental health via phone. Clothing, food, and shelter were provided for most of the residents. One resident is insured and declined Red Cross assistance. Two clients are staying with family. One client was at the laundramat and didn’t have clothing needs. The Maine Housing Authority is providing materials for long term housing solutions. Red Cross was requested around dinner time and many of the responders graciously postponed dinner to rush to the scene and respond!

Maine Flash Report for 8/14/2013

Thursday, 7/18 – Eastbrook (Hancock County) Single Family Fire. Two people were displaced when a barn fire quickly spread to the adjacent home. A client was home resting when his dog began to bark. The dog continued barking until the man went outside, discovering the fire and evacuating safely. 35-40 firefighters were called in to fight the blaze. Readiness Manager Rob Eaton responded; the Red Cross provided assistance for clothing, food, and bed linens. The clients are staying with family. The home is unlivable.

Monday, 7/22 – Troy (Waldo County) Single Family Fire. A family of six was left homeless when a house caught fire. All four children were under the age of five. Red Cross volunteer Lore Wing responded, along with Disaster Action Team Trainee Helmut Koch and his wife, Mairead Stein, a Disaster Mental Health and Health Services volunteer. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, infant formula, clothes, bed linens, and a portable crib. The clients are staying with family.

Monday, 7/22 – Limestone (Aroostook County) Single Family Fire. A fire started in the bedroom of a house, exploding a client’s oxygen tank and accelerating the blaze. The clients were not home at the time, and had only the clothes on their backs. Red Cross volunteer Dan Lee responded; the Red Cross provided assistance for lodging, food, and clothing.

Tuesday, 7/23 – Woodland (Aroostook County) Single Family Fire. A grease fire started in the kitchen, quickly spreading and engulfing the residence. Red Cross volunteer Bob Jordan responded; the Red Cross provided assistance with food and clothing. The clients have a place to stay while they search for another home.

Thursday, 7/25 – Machias (Washington County) Hazardous Material. Due to severe rain, the town sewage lines backed up and ended up in this family’s mobile home. Sewage covered the floor of two bedrooms, the living room, and kitchen, according to our caseworker on the scene. Red Cross volunteer Clyde Bernhardt responded; the Red Cross provided shelter for four people for three nights.

Saturday, 7/27 – Columbia (Washington County) Single Family Fire. A family of three was displaced by a fire in the town of Columbia. Red Cross volunteer Clyde Bernhardt responded; the Red Cross provided assistance with lodging.

Monday, 7/29 – Bangor (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. A fire broke out at a Bangor residence just before 11 pm, displacing a man and his wife. The couple was out for a walk, and when they came back over the hill, they saw firefighters at the scene and their home in flames. Early reports indicated lightning was the cause. Response Manager Danielle Hardré responded; the Red Cross provided assistance for food, lodging, and clothing for two. Red Cross volunteer Carrie Moring also provided Disaster Mental Health follow-up support.

Saturday, 8/3 – Auburn (Androscoggin County) Multi Family Fire. Nobody was home when a fire broke out at a two-unit house which sustained major fire, smoke, and water damage. Neighbors reported seeing heavy smoke coming from the windows and called 9-1-1. Thankfully, the fire department responded quickly and were instrumental in saving the life of three dogs and bird. The tenants were notified of the incident and were on scene shortly thereafter. The Auburn Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteer Sue Goddard responded to the scene immediately and took the time to talk with the clients about their needs and recovery plans. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging. The families plan to meet with their insurance company and determine what options are available. After the incident, one of the families called the Red Cross back to thank us for the help.

Saturday, 8/3 – Castle Hill (Aroostook County) Single Family Fire. An electrical fire left a family homeless in Castle Hill. Red Cross volunteer Bill Thomas responded; the Red Cross provided assistance for food and clothing. The clients are staying with neighbors.

Sunday, 8/4 – Washburn (Aroostook County) Multi Family Fire. A fire started when lightning struck an apartment building, affecting 30 residents in 24 units. Although the fire only damaged some units, all residents were without power for several days while fire damage was repaired and the elevator and fire alarms were brought back online. Red Cross volunteer Dennis Drew led the team of responders. Ten residents were provided hotel stays, and the rest stayed with friends and family in the area. The Red Cross provided assistance with clothing for 21 clients, and food assistance for 23. Health Services and Mental Health were also involved in providing follow-up support to clients as needed.

Monday, 8/5 – Richmond (Sagadahoc County) Single Family Fire. An early morning, quick moving fire destroyed a family’s mobile home and sent one family member to the hospital in critical but stable condition. The fire, which was reported by a neighbor, left little more than the framing and a portion of the roof. The Richmond Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteers Linda Blanton and Minnie Vasquez responded to the scene immediately and met with two family members. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging, and also to let the family know of Health and Mental Health services as well. Once the family member is discharged from the hospital, Health Services will assess any disaster caused medical needs.

Sunday, 8/11 – Mount Vernon (Kennebec County) Single Family Fire. A home was badly damaged and a family pet was killed by a fire that swept through their home. The family had left to go to a local store and the house was on fire when they returned. The homeowner attempted to rescue the dog but was overcome by smoke. The Mount Vernon Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteer Patty Moody-D’Angelo responded to the scene immediately. Upon Patty’s arrival, the clients were being consoled by many extended family members. Patty assessed the family’s immediate needs and provided the family assistance for food and clothing. The clients have insurance and plan to stay with family until repairs can be made to the home.

Sunday, 8/11 – Windham (Cumberland County) Multi Family Fire. An early morning fire destroyed a three-unit apartment building, forcing three families to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Very sadly, this tragic disaster took the life of a twenty-five year old male and sent his fiancé to the hospital with smoke inhalation. Thankfully, the five other tenants all got out safely. The Windham Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteer Carla LaRoche received the early morning call and quickly responded to the scene, meeting with first responders and identifying clients’ immediate needs. Given the magnitude of this disaster, Carla’s first priority was to ensure that the health and mental health needs of the clients were met. Carla called Red Cross Mental Health volunteer Ellin Ruffner to help coordinate Red Cross mental health services. Red Cross Mental Health volunteer Bob Collin made contact with the client who was hospitalized. Mental Health volunteers also contacted another family involved in this disaster. Red Cross Health Services volunteer Karen Rea assessed and provided for any medical needs and has been in contact with the family members of the deceased. Once the client was discharged from the hospital, she decided to stay with family members in Waterville, where Red Cross volunteer Lore Wing met with her. Undoubtedly, this is a tragic disaster and one that has effected many people.

Maine Flash Report for 7/23/2013

Saturday, 7/13 – Turner (Androscoggin County) Single Family Fire. A family was forced to evacuate their home after a water heater caught fire. Although the fire was contained to the basement, the home sustained major smoke and water damage, making it uninhabitable. The Turner Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteer Sue Goddard responded to the scene. The Red Cross provided the family with assistance for food and lodging. The family has insurance and is expecting to begin the recovery process immediately.

Sunday, 7/14 – Dover-Foxcroft (Piscataquis County) Single Family Fire. Four people were displaced when this 1914 farmhouse went up in flames on Sunday. 100 chickens, two cows, and a cat were lost. Reports indicate that a spark from a farm vehicle ignited hay in the barn, beginning the blaze. The home is a total loss and all heirlooms are gone. Red Cross volunteers David Morrill and Rita Page responded and assisted the family with food and clothing. The clients are staying with friends.

Sunday, 7/14 – Lisbon Falls (Androscoggin County) Single Family Fire. A fire that started in the middle of the night destroyed a large single story home. The fire had spread so quickly that by the time the firefighters arrived, the home was fully engulfed. The cause of the fire is being investigated, and there is still some debate as to whether anyone was home when the fire first started. The following day, one of the tenants called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteers Sue Goddard and Todd Tisdale met with the client to assess immediate basic needs and discuss a recovery plan. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging for three nights. The Red Cross also provided referrals to local social service agencies, comfort kits, and Teddy Bears. The family will be searching for alternate housing.

Monday, 7/15 – Brewer (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. A woman was alerted to a fire by the smell of smoke. When she saw flames coming from the roof, she grabbed the pets and fled the home. Thankfully, her children were at day camp at the time. The home suffered major structural, water, and smoke damage. Red Cross volunteer David St. Louis responded, and the family was provided food, shelter, and clothing for three people. Disaster Mental Health volunteer Sue Blier also performed follow-up casework.

Wednesday, 7/17 – Norway (Oxford County) Single Family Fire. An overturned oil lamp started an early morning mobile home fire that left a mother and two children homeless. Everyone, including the family cat, escaped safely, but the fire spread quickly and destroyed everything. Three neighbors, who are local firefighters, assisted the family with their evacuation. Red Cross volunteer Rich Haslip met with the family to assess their immediate disaster caused needs and to discuss a recovery plan. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging for three nights, as well as referrals for local social service agencies.

Wednesday, 7/17 – Prospect (Waldo County) Single Family Fire. A family was at a concert in Bangor when they received a call from a neighbor that their home was engulfed in flames. The family dog perished in the blaze. Red Cross volunteer Jennifer DeGroff, along with Response Manager Danielle Hardré, responded. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, shelter, and clothing for the family of four. Disaster Mental Health volunteer Elena Perrello also provided assistance.

Thursday, 7/18 – Saco (York County) Single Family Fire. A fire that started in a barn spread to the neighboring home. The barn was destroyed by the flames, but the fire department was able to save the house. The homeowner made it out safely, but there were a number of cattle that perished in the fire. Red Cross volunteer and Saco resident Greg Cormier got up out of bed in the middle of the night to help a community member in need. The Red Cross provided assistance with food, clothing, and referrals to social service agencies.

Friday, 7/19 – Leeds (Androscoggin County) Single Family Fire. A fire broke out in an air conditioner, causing major damage to a family’s home. The family was camping at the time of the incident, and a neighbor called 911 and attempted to extinguish the blaze. The Red Cross received a call from a community partner indicating that the family may need help. The Red Cross office contacted the family and arranged a time to meet. Red Cross volunteer John "The Captain" Osbun met with the family to determine their immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and referrals.

Saturday, 7/20 – Augusta (Kennebec County) Single Family Fire. A sudden gust of wind caused a tree to fall on power lines that were connected to a home, causing an electrical panel to catch fire. Although the fire was extinguished quickly, the smoke permeated throughout the home, displacing the family for a night. The Red Cross was called by the Augusta Fire Department to provide a place for the family to stay. Red Cross volunteer Lori Wing provided lodging for the clients. The family was able to return to their home the next morning.

Sunday, 7/21 – Bowdoinham (Sagadahoc County) Single Family Fire. An early morning fire destroyed a family’s home. The family was camping when the incident occurred and were notified by authorities. The family lost all of their personal belongings, including a pet rabbit. The Bowdoinham Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteers Andrew Eckman and Judy Hamer handled the call. Judy met with the family and discussed their needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging at a local motel. The Red Cross also provided referrals to local social service agencies.

Monday, 7/22 – Falmouth (Cumberland County) Single Family Fire. In the midst of a severe rainstorm, a bolt of lightning struck a roof, resulting in a fire. A person driving by the home stopped and alerted the family of the fire. The fire department was credited with extinguishing the blaze quickly, but the home still suffered major smoke, fire, and water damage. Before the family left to stay with relatives, the fire department provided referral information for the Red Cross. The family called the Red Cross office and spoke with Response Manager Eric Lynes. Since the family lives in Eric’s neighborhood, he met them at a local restaurant. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and eyeglasses. The family is working with their insurance company and are excited to begin steps to rebuild.

Maine Flash Report for July 16, 2013

Thursday, 7/4 – Augusta (Kennebec County) Multi Family Fire. An early evening fire forced six families from their apartments and sent some firefighters to the hospital with heat related issues. The fire is believed to have started due to lightning striking the front of the apartment. All 14 people evacuated safely, but some pets were lost in the blaze. The Augusta Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteers Debbie Tondreau, Sue Goddard, Brenda Sawyer, and Frances Szady responded to the scene and worked with the clients to ensure that all immediate needs, both physical and mental health related, were met. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging. The Red Cross continues to work with the clients in their effort to find alternate housing.

Thursday, 7/4 – Standish (Cumberland County) Single Family Fire. An early morning electrical fire destroyed a mobile home and most of the contents in the home. As smoke filled the house, the two people living there were alerted by the family dog and were able to escape safely. A short time later, the home was fully engulfed in flames. The Standish Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteer Michelle Danois met with the family to assess their immediate needs and to discuss the family’s recovery plan. The Red Cross provided the family with comfort kits and assistance for food and clothing. The family does have homeowner’s insurance and will be contacting them.

Thursday, 7/4 – Etna (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. A man was left homeless on July 4th when a fire of unknown origin leveled his two story home while he was at work. Only his barn was left standing. Red Cross volunteer Jennifer DeGroff responded (to her first solo case). The Red Cross provided assistance for clothing, shoes, food, and bed linens.

Friday, 7/5 – Sangerville (Piscataquis County) Multi Family Fire. Bad wiring started a fire that destroyed a mobile home under renovation, as well as the adjacent trailer where friends were living at the time. Red Cross volunteer Brenda Moody responded; the Red Cross provided assistance with housing, food, clothing, and Disaster Mental Health for the home owner, as well as food, shoes, clothing, and bed linens for the friends. Health Services volunteer also Mairead Stein provided assistance.

Friday, 7/5 – Winterport (Waldo County) Single Family Fire. A cooking fire destroyed a home where two adults and five children lived. Luckily, no one was hurt. Red Cross volunteer David St. Louis responded, as well as his mentoree, Trevor Oplinus who was responding to his first case. The Red Cross provided assistance with clothes, shoes, and food for seven people.

Friday, 7/5 – Topsham (Sagadahoc County) Multi Family Fire. A grease fire destroyed the kitchen of a second floor apartment and caused significant water damage to the first floor unit. The tenant left the kitchen for just a moment, only to return to fire running up the kitchen walls. The Topsham Fire Department called the Red Cross to help the two families affected by this sudden disaster. Red Cross volunteer Judy Hamer contacted the two families immediately, then met with the families to assess their disaster caused needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging for three nights. The Red Cross continues to collaborate with the families and provide housing referral information.

Monday, 7/8 – Waterford (Oxford County) Single Family Fire. A clothes dryer caught fire, causing major damage to a mobile home that a family was renting. The tenants were not home at the time of the incident, but were later provided Red Cross contact information. Red Cross volunteer Megan Goddard met with the family at a local coffee shop and was able to help the family start with their recovery plan. The Red Cross provided assistance for food and clothing. Comfort kits and referrals were also provided. The family plans to stay with relatives for the short-term. The family had suffered a similar disaster about twenty years ago.

Monday, 7/8 – Bangor (Penobscot County) Multi Family Fire. A multi unit fire started early in the morning in Bangor. Reports indicate a malfunctioning refrigerator as the cause. Due to the weather and the number of clients, the Red Cross office was opened at 5:00 am and casework began. Red Cross volunteers David and Debbie St. Louis were the first on scene. Red Cross volunteer Bud Walkup was also called in to support the casework at the office. Coffee, snacks, food, clothing, lodging, and health services were provided for the clients. One client is staying with friends. Because of the quick response, the Red Cross processed all clients by mid afternoon.

Maine Flash Report for 6/4/2013

Sunday, 5/19 – Orrington (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. Returning home in afternoon, a family of five found their son’s bedroom in flames, with heavy black smoke throughout the rest of the house. The fire chief determined that the fire was most likely electrical. Luckily, there were no injuries from the fire. Red Cross volunteer Bud Walkup successfully completed his first solo case; the Red Cross provided the family with assistance with lodging for five and clothes for two.

Tuesday, 5/21 – Augusta (Kennebec County) Single Family Fire. A fire was contained to one apartment unit, but forced tenants from other units to evacuate in the middle of the night. No injuries were reported and all but one family was allowed to go back into their dwellings. The fire started accidentally, after smoking materials were discarded improperly. The Augusta Fire Department called the Red Cross to help provide services to one family. Red Cross volunteer Frances Szady, who happens to live in the neighborhood, responded to the scene and met with the client to determine his immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging for three nights. The client is planning to stay with friends or family.

Friday, 5/24 – Brownfield (Oxford County) Single Family Fire. A day of painting a family’s home for a Memorial Day party turned tragic after cleaning chemicals fell from a shelf, causing a fire that destroyed the family’s home. The homeowner attempted to extinguish the fire, but was overcome by smoke. Shortly thereafter, one of the daughters arrived home from a Senior Day field trip only to find her home consumed by fire. The Brownfield Fire Department called the Red Cross to help assist the family with immediate basic needs. Red Cross Volunteer Rich Haslip responded to the scene and met with the family. After talking with the family, Rich provided Red Cross assistance with food, clothing, and lodging for three nights. The family plans to meet with their insurance company and develop their recovery plan.

Saturday, 5/26 – Sabattus (Androscoggin County) Single Family Fire. A late night fire destroyed a family’s home and all of their possessions. The family stated that their smoke alarms woke them up and they had just enough time to grab their cell phones and keys to the car. “Watching your home burn to the ground is the most helpless feeling one could ever experience,” stated the homeowner. The family decided to stay with relatives who lived in the area, and the Sabattus Fire Department provided the family with contact information for the Red Cross. The following day, the family contacted the Red Cross; volunteers Janet and Jerry Stanisz met with the clients to discuss their immediate and long-term recovery plan. The Red Cross provided the assistance for food and clothing, as well as referrals to local social service agencies and teddy bears.

Sunday, 5/27 – Augusta (Kennebec County) Multi Family Fire. A fire caused major damage to a seven-unit apartment building, displacing fourteen people and severely injuring one person. Tenants stated that they were alerted by smoke alarms, and they all worked together to ensure everyone was evacuated. The Augusta Fire Department called the Red Cross to help the tenants affected by this sudden disaster. Red Cross volunteers Dave Bourassa, Fred White, and Debbie Tondreau responded to the scene and met with the clients. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging for three nights. The Red Cross is working with the families to find alternate housing.

Tuesday, 5/28 – Corinth (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. A family of four was displaced when their home was destroyed by fire. The family was away at the time of the fire, which completely destroyed the home. The family is currently staying with friends. Red Cross volunteer Rita Page responded, providing assistance for clothing and food. The cause of the fire is undetermined. The family is insured and will work with their insurance company on their long term plans.

Thursday, 5/30 – Presque Isle (Aroostook County) Single Family Fire. A daytime fire caused major damage to the mobile home residence of a mother and her two children. It appears that arson may be the cause of the fire. The family is uninsured. A family member is providing temporary housing. Red Cross volunteers Dennis and Bonnie Drew met with the family, providing them with assistance for food and clothing, as well as referrals to local agencies.

Thursday, 5/30 – Dedham (Hancock County) Single Family Fire. One of four children arrived home after school and witnessed smoke coming out of the second floor windows. He rescued his dog and called 911. The frame of the house is salvageable, but the interior received major damage and must be gutted. The family is insured for the structure but not the contents. All possessions, clothing, and food were destroyed. Readiness Manager Rob Eaton met with the family, providing them with comfort kits, food, and clothing assistance, as well as referrals. The family is staying with friends. They intend to rebuild on site.

Saturday, 6/2 – Standish (Cumberland County) Single Family Fire. A fire that started in the early morning hours destroyed a family’s mobile home. The two people living there escaped the flames and managed to save a number of pets. The fire is believed to have started in or near the electrical panel, but is still being investigated. The Standish Fire Department called the Red Cross to help assist the family; Red Cross volunteer Ruby Lee met with the clients. After discussing the family’s immediate basic needs and alternate housing plans, the Red Cross provided the family with assistance for food and clothing. The family plans to stay with relatives and will work with their insurance company to determine their long-term recovery plans.

Sunday, 6/2 – Aurora (Hancock County) Single Family Fire. Two residents of a home, as well as a friend staying with them, returned at 9 pm to find the house engulfed in flames. Three cats and a parrot perished in the fire. They are insured, and are still working to develop their long term plans. The cause of the fire is unknown. Red Cross volunteer David St. Louis responded, providing clothing, food, and housing assistance for the residents.

Sunday, 6/3 – South Portland (Cumberland County) Multi Family Fire. Three families were displaced by a late-night fire that swept through an apartment building. The fire started on an exterior porch, moving into the two-story structure’s attic. The three families all escaped before the fire department arrived, and also managed to save two cats and a dog. The fire is believed to have started from an improperly discarded cigarette. The South Portland Fire Department called the Red Cross to help the families involved. Red Cross volunteers Jim Linscott and Liz Brooks met with the clients to assess their immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance to purchase food and clothing. One family did not have a place to go, and lodging assistance was provided. The Red Cross continues to work with the families to provide referrals and to help in their recovery.

Sunday, 6/3 – Norway (Oxford County) Wind Storm. Severe thunderstorms swept through parts of Maine on Sunday, packing wind gusts of 60 mph to 70 mph, causing downed trees and power lines. A family in Norway was displaced due to a large tree crashing through their mobile home, leaving a gaping hole in the roof and walls. The family managed to put a tarp over the roof, but the home was unsafe to live in. The Norway fire Department called the Red Cross to help assist the family; Red Cross volunteer John McElrath received the call and quickly responded to the scene to assess the situation. After a conversation surrounding the family’s immediate basic needs and alternate housing plan, the Red Cross provided the family with assistance for food and lodging for three nights. The family will work to repair their home and may stay with relatives until repairs are complete.

Maine Flash Report for 7/2/2013

Sunday, 6/23 – Augusta (Kennebec County) Single Family Fire. A late-night electrical fire forced the temporary evacuation of all tenants from a 17-unit apartment building. The tenant of the top floor unit heard what he described as crackling and popping noises coming from the top-floor attic. The top-floor apartment sustained minor damage when firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to gain access to the fire. All tenants were allowed back into their apartments, except for the one family whose apartment suffered damage. That family stayed with relatives in Lewiston. Red Cross volunteers John Osbun and Todd Tisdale met with the family to assess their immediate basic needs and discuss their recovery plan. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and comfort kits. The family plans to move back into their apartment in a few days.

Thursday, 6/27 – Augusta (Kennebec County) Single Family Fire. An RV that was being utilized as a home was destroyed by fire. The fire is believed to have started in a gas-operated refrigerator. The owner of the RV was not home at the time of the incident. The Augusta Fire Department called the Red Cross to help assist the single occupant. Red Cross volunteer Frances Szady met with the client and assessed the client’s immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and comfort kits. The owner of the RV is staying with relatives.