It was mid-December of 2018 around 4PM when a house caught fire in Streator, IL.
Firefighers with the Streator Fire Department were arriving at the single-family home within minutes and shortly after them, two volunteers with the American Red Cross of the Illinois River Valley were there.
The home was unlivable, and everything changed for that Streator family that night. Everyone was able to get out of the home, but all of their pet hamsters and fish were lost. The three children who lived there and their parents lost all their belongings from the fire or the heavy smell of smoke that had seeped into everything.
Standing outside of their home, Red Cross volunteers wrapped each family member in a Red Cross blanket and gave everyone a comfort kit containing basic items like a toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo. The volunteers made sure the family had a place to go for the next few days and connected them with resources that would become the bridge to their next home, as they could not return to the burnt out house.
The Streator family was able to find a new place to live and was able to get new clothes for the everyone with assistance from the Red Cross. “That really helped us out a lot,” the children’s mother said.
She says although they had to start over completely, the Red Cross was there to help her family during those difficult days following the fire and now they are together in a new home in Streator.
Written by communications manager Holly Baker.