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.