Local House Fires Stretch Red Cross Resources
The winter holiday season is historically a dangerous time for residential fires in Minnesota. Seventeen people died in fires in Minnesota last year in November and December alone, the most during those two months since 1995, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety data.
There have been several fires in the northwest metro in the past couple of weeks. On Nov. 30, firefighters were called a house fire in Crystal. And on Dec. 8, a fire broke out at a home in Brooklyn Center. And this past Saturday, crews rushed to put out flames at this home in Golden Valley.
Maple Grove Fire Chief Tim Bush says cooking fires and electrical fires are common this time of year.
“Talking about putting up lights and decorations, make sure to check all our electrical connections, make sure our outlets aren’t overloaded,” suggested Bush.
Red Cross Volunteers Often Arrive With Fire Crews
After firefighters arrive on the scene, the next folks to show up are usually Red Cross volunteers.
“We’ve got a lot of people that need our help,” said Red Cross Communications Specialist Carrie Carson-Guest. “Since July 1, we’ve helped more than 1,200 people in Minnesota. And that’s going to increase, we respond to more than a disaster a day.”
With the growing number of fires and other disasters, the nonprofit needs more volunteers.
“We need those volunteers who are incredible generous, willing to be on call, to go out at a moments notice,” said Carlson-Guest.
Volunteers offer fire victims items that will help them make it through the next 24-48 hours, things like soap, toothpaste and other hygiene products.
Nonprofit Provides Free Smoke Alarms
The Red Cross is also in the business of helping people to stay safe should a fire happen.
“We have free smoke alarms available and not only that, but our volunteers install them and share fire safety information help them develop their plan,” explained Carlson Guest.
People can text, call or email the Red Cross to get a free fire alarm. The group is also hosting an information session on volunteering coming up on Dec. 12. For more information click here.