The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated days in the United States, with people showing their patriotism by lighting fireworks and enjoying quality time with their loved ones. Unfortunately for Erica Lopez and her family, one week before the national holiday, fireworks lit up her house instead of the sky.
On June 28, a group of kids started the firecracker in a backyard near Erica’s home. The firecracker landed on the roof of Erica’s building and quickly spread fire to the rooms below. Her eldest son was in the shower when he smelled smoke and ran out to tell his little brother and cousins. Not having their mother, Erica, at home, the children ran downstairs to alert their aunt who later recalled that “they could have run, but they saved my life!”
When the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team arrived on scene, the firefighters were still present. The children were now huddled at a distance from their home with their family. Their anxiety was alleviated when the volunteers gave them stuffed animals and comforting smiles.
As the Red Cross volunteers prepared to provide emergency assistance, Erica was unsure whether or not to take the offered help. But those that were present assured her that the Red Cross was there to help. Her boyfriend also mentioned “They help people all around the world!” We explained to her that we operate solely on generous donations given by the public and that we were there to help her. As the Disaster Response team prepared to provide shoes to them because of the broken glass scattered over the entire place, Erica couldn’t believe that we were assisting them so much.
Erica was extremely grateful to receive American Red Cross comfort kits, aid for food, clothing and shelter. As the Emergency Response vehicle pulled out of the neighborhood, Erica held her children close as she prepared to move in with her father and start afresh.
Written By- Amisha Sud