Dearest Readers, we apologize for leaving you hanging for an entire day. We know how much you look forward to our blog.
But you see, Friday the 13th proved to have lasting effects that turned our President’s Day upside down!
At around 4 p.m., we were notified of a fire not too far from our office.
Sam had responded to a fire at the same address earlier, so we weren’t expecting much. As we grabbed our boots and hats, dispatch called us back to notify us that the fire department was pulling people out of the building.
When we arrived on scene, things were still a bit chaotic.
We found a representative from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and two representatives from the Department of Human Services and decided to work together to find as much information as we could.
Next, we took a walk through the affected building with the property manager, OEMC and the fire department to assess the damage. While walking through a very wet, yet still in tact building, we were part of a decision making process that concluded the building was unsafe and would be closed for the evening.
Red Cross to the Rescue!
In large situations such as this fire, the Red Cross responds by activating our Mass Care Team.
Shutting down this building meant putting sixty-five families out of their homes; the Red Cross provides shelter for those who had no where to go.
Mass Care arrived on scene with a canteen, providing water and snacks for the residents. A short while after, dinner was also provided while other members of the Mass Care team were locating a suitable shelter to house those displaced.
As the night went on, we worked to get an accurate count of those affected who would be staying in our shelter. As members of the DAT team, we worked directly with the emergency response personnel, but also helped to communicate new information to the tenants.
Several pizzas later, after a few teddy bears were handed out and a very scared cat got a ride on a CTA bus, it was decided that a Red Cross Shelter was not necessary. Most of the building’s tenants thankfully were able to stay with friends and family and hopefully the building will be back up and running shortly!