This morning, our Red Cross relief workers Erin Couihan and Chris Mitchell responded to a deadly fire in Edgewater. An elderly woman lost her life in the blaze, and her neighbors evacuated in the early morning hours, many waking up to hear banging on their doors and to find smoke in their hallways.
When Erin and Chris arrived, the residents were gathered downstairs. “People were really appreciative that we were there,” Erin said. The property manager had already brought over coffee and breakfast. Mostly, people just needed to talk. Erin comforted a neighbor who was close friends with the woman who passed away. Chris gave comfort kits to the 14 people who were displaced—baggies with toothbrushes, soap and more. After several hours, they were told they could return to their homes, but some were apprehensive. Erin and Chris went upstairs with them and offered tips for airing out the smell of smoke. “We got a lot of hugs,” Chris said.
Sadly, fires are the most frequent disaster in America. Here in Chicagoland, the Red Cross responds to 3-4 fires every day. Learn how to keep your loved ones safe at www.chicagoredcross.org/firesafety