Sunday, 11/11 – Caribou (Aroostook County) Single Family Fire. Two adults and their four children were displaced when their apartment caught fire. Unfortunately, one of the children was injured in the fire and was flown to Portland for treatment. Upon the family’s return from Portland, they met with Red Cross volunteer Bob Jordan. The Red Cross provided assistance with lodging.
Friday, 11/23 – Madison (Somerset County) Single Family Fire. A family of five was displaced from their mobile home the day after Thanksgiving. The family was home at the time of the fire and believes it started with a young child playing with a lighter. Red Cross volunteer Maryann Ayotte responded; the Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and seasonal garments for all family members.
Wednesday, 12/12 – Westbrook (Cumberland County) Single Family Fire. An off-duty fireman happened to be driving by an apartment that had visible smoke billowing from the roof. The fireman immediately dialed 911, quickly determined no one was in the burning apartment, and alerted neighboring tenants to evacuate. The fire destroyed one apartment and caused significant damage to the neighboring unit. The Red Cross received a call from the family whose apartment was destroyed; Red Cross volunteers Sue Goddard and Eric Sawyer spoke with the client and scheduled a time to meet with the family. The tenants from the neighboring unit declined assistance. The Red Cross met with family and provided assistance for food, clothing, and referrals to local social service agencies. The family does have renters insurance.
Thursday, 12/13 – Amity (Aroostook County) Multi Family Fire. A fire of unknown origin destroyed a house, displacing residents from two apartments. Red Cross volunteer Pete Marcotte responded. An elderly couple is staying at their boss’s camp until they can build a new home; the Red Cross assisted them with food, clothing, shoes and seasonal garments. A young man is staying with friends until he can find another apartment to rent; the Red Cross assisted him with food, clothing, shoes, seasonal garments, and lodging.
Sunday, 12/16 – Lewiston (Androscoggin County) Single Family Fire. A fire caused extensive damage to a family’s home, displacing them for a period of time. A faulty chimney is believed to have ignited wood rafters. The homeowner called 911 immediately, then grabbed a hose and began dousing the rafters. The Lewiston Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Disaster Action Team volunteer Janice Lara responded to the scene and met with the family to determine their immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food and lodging for three nights. The family plans to start repairs as soon as possible and will live in a camper that sits on their property until repairs to the home are complete.
Monday, 12/17 – Turner (Androscoggin County) Single Family Fire. Upon returning home from the grocery store, a man was met by smoke billowing from a second-story window. The man entered his home to retrieve his dog, was overcome by smoke, and was not able to save his cats. The house is considered a total loss. The Lewiston Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Disaster Action Team volunteer Sue Goddard contacted the client immediately and was told that the client would be staying next door with his sister. The following day, the Red Cross met with the client a provided assistance for food and clothing, as well as comfort kits. The client plans to meet with his insurance company soon.
Tuesday, 12/18 – Lewiston (Androscoggin County) Multi Family Fire. A first floor tenant left a candle burning in the living room, causing a fire that destroyed a three unit apartment building. All of the tenants made it out safely and no injuries were reported. A teenager who happened to be walking by on his way to basketball practice spotted the fire and called 911. The Lewiston Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Disaster Action Team volunteers Nick Pelletier and John Osbun responded immediately to the scene, collaborating with the fire department so that tenants on the third floor could retrieve clothing and other personal belongings. The Red Cross provided the families assistance with food, clothing, and lodging for three nights, and is working with the families to seek alternate housing.
Thursday, 12/20 – Anson (Somerset County) Single Family Fire. A woman was sleeping at the time of a fire that originated from the wood stove. Disaster Action Team volunteer Maryann Ayotte responded, and the Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, shoes, and seasonal garments for the family of three. The displaced clients intend to stay with the woman’s daughter until they determine their next steps.
Thursday, 12/20 – Bangor (Penobscot County) Multi Family Fire. An apartment building was heavily damaged by fire early Thursday morning, displacing a total of seven residents. Fire crews arrived just after midnight, and while they managed to get the blaze under control in about an hour, the house was a total loss. The fire started in the second story, and working smoke alarms are largely to thank for getting all of the residents safely out of the house in time. Casework volunteer Brenda Moody responded; the Red Cross assisted one family with housing, food, and cleaning supplies, and another family with food, clothing, and seasonal garments.
Friday, 12/21 – Merrill (Aroostook County) Single Family Fire. A strange twist of events that led a family to seek Red Cross assistance. During a recent cold spell this family, including four children under 7, was staying at their grandmother’s house when an apparent gas leak under their mobile home blew up the residence, totally upending the home. Red Cross volunteer Alice Beaulieu responded to the call and provided assistance for food, clothing, and seasonal garments.
Tuesday, 12/25 – Woodville (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. A homeowner said he heard a noise at around 11:30, went outside to check, and found flames around the eaves of his house. The fire is believed to have originated from the chimney, and none of the client’s fire extinguishers were working. Red Cross volunteer Alice Beaulieu and Response Manager Danielle Hardré responded, providing assistance for food, clothing, lodging, and medication replacements.
Friday, 12/28 – Stockton Springs (Waldo County) Single Family Fire. Four generations of a family were displaced when a home burned early Thursday morning, forcing family members to flee outdoors with only their pajamas. The family has insurance and intends to rebuild. The community has been very responsive and supportive, donating clothes and other items needed. Red Cross volunteer Gale Grat and Response Manager Danielle Hardré responded, providing assistance for food, clothing, seasonal garments, shoes, and lodging for the family of seven.
Friday, 12/28 – Sea Cove (Hancock County) Single Family Fire. A woman and her son were away at a track meet when she received a call that their house was on fire. All of the contents were destroyed by fire, smoke, and water, and the family also lost three cats. Readiness Manager Rob Eaton responded; the Red Cross provided assistance for clothes, shoes, seasonal garments, and food.
Monday, 12/31 – Westbrook (Cumberland County) Single Family Fire. On a cold New Year’s Eve, a family of four was forced to evacuate their home due to a fast moving fire. The fire broke out in a bathroom and spread throughout the first floor, causing major damage. The Westbrook Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Disaster Action Team volunteer John Leeming left his New Year’s Eve activities without hesitation to respond. After assessing the family’s immediate basic needs and discussing the family’s tentative recovery plan, John provided assistance for food. The family’s clothing was not affected by the fire and the family plans to stay with relatives. The family has house insurance.
Tuesday, 1/1 – Monmouth (Kennebec County) Single Family Fire. On New Year’s Day, a single woman and her dog were forced to evacuate their home due to a fire. Smoke detectors alerted the homeowner of the fire, allowing her enough time to evacuate without harm. The fire started in the chimney and worked its way through the home. The Monmouth Fire Chief stated that regular maintenance of one’s chimney is something that cannot be delayed. The Red Cross office received a call from the homeowners relatives, requesting services. The Red Cross contacted the client immediately and arranged to meet the client at the Red Cross office. Disaster Action Team volunteer Sue Goddard met with the client (and her dog) and assessed their immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging, as well as comfort kits, a dog toy, and referrals to social service agencies.
Tuesday, 1/1 – Belmont (Waldo County) Single Family Fire. The clients were not home when a fire broke out, destroying their mobile home and all of its contents. Thankfully, a passerby saw the fire and let the family dog out before it was too late. Red Cross volunteer Gail Grat responded (her first solo response as a caseworker); the Red Cross assisted with lodging, clothing, shoes, seasonal garments, and food for two people.
Saturday, 1/5 – Limington (York County) Single Family Fire. An early evening fire destroyed a family’s house and attached garage. The occupants were alerted by smoke detectors and were able to retrieve cell phones before evacuating. The home was fully engulfed in flames by the time the fire department arrived on scene. The homeowners were supported by friends and family and did not require Red Cross services until the following day. While on her way to work, Red Cross volunteer Belinda Arsenault made time to meet with the family and assess their immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food and clothing. The family plans to meet with their insurance company as soon as possible.
Sunday, 1/6 – Orono (Penobscot County) Single Family Fire. A junction box under a mobile home caught fire, resulting in minimal smoke damage and no structural damage. The power and heat will stay off until major rewiring is completed. Red Cross volunteer David St. Louis responded; the Red Cross assisted with lodging.