Tuesday, 1/15 – Dixfield (Oxford County) Single Family Fire. An early morning fire destroyed a family’s home and much of their personal belongings. The direct cause of the fire is still being investigated, but appears to have started in the vicinity of an electrical panel. Luckily, the family was not home when the fire started, but were called and on scene shortly thereafter. The Red Cross office received a call from the Dixfield Fire Department to help assist the family. Red Cross volunteer Sue Goddard contacted the family immediately and arrangements were made to meet at the Red Cross office in Lewiston. Sue met with the family and identified the family’s immediate basic needs. The Red Cross provided assistance for food and clothing. The family is expected to meet their insurance company soon.
Wednesday, 1/16 – Phillips (Franklin County) Single Family Fire. A chimney fire that spread to a wall caused heavy smoke damage to an apartment. The family was on their way home when the fire started, and upon entering their apartment, they could see smoke billowing from the stove pipe. After dialing 911, the family attempted to extinguish the flames and had it under control by the time the fire department responded. The Phillips Fire Department provided the family contact information for the Red Cross, who they called moments later. Red Cross volunteer Carole Richards contacted the family and arranged to meet at a local motel. Carole assessed the family’s needs and provided Red Cross assistance to purchase food and arranged for the family to stay in a hotel for three nights. The family intends to clean up the apartment and plans to move back in.
Wednesday, 1/16 – Waterford (Oxford County) Single Family Fire. An early morning fire forced a single man to evacuate his home. Although the homeowner evacuated safely, the fire destroyed his home and a nearby garage, and the gentleman’s cat perished as well. A wall that was next to a wood stove is believed to have been the cause of the fire. Although the Waterford Fire Department offered to call the Red Cross, the homeowner declined and stayed with relatives who live next door. The next morning, the Red Cross received a call from a family member requesting help. Red Cross volunteer Cara Billings, who lives in the neighborhood, offered to meet the client and help out a fellow neighbor. Cara and the client discussed his immediate basic needs and what particular tasks he must do in order to start recovering. The Red Cross provided the client assistance for food and clothing, as well as comfort kits and referrals to local social service agencies.
Monday, 1/21 – Chelsea (Kennebec County) Single Family Fire. A mid morning fire destroyed a family’s mobile home and all of their personal belongings. Luckily, the family was not home at the time of the fire. The homeowner had just left the house to go shopping and was notified shortly thereafter by a neighbor. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but is not considered suspicious. The homeowner did state that he had just installed new smoke detectors. The Chelsea Fire Department called the Red Cross for assistance; Red Cross volunteers Debbie Tondreau and Penny Kinney met the family at a local motel and discussed their short and long term goals. The Red Cross provided assistance for food, clothing, and lodging for three nights. The family does have insurance and plans to meet their agent shortly.