WNY Red Cross responds to quick subsequent blazes

Nov 9, 2014

Firefighters help unload a Red Cross truck.
Credit The American Red Cross / WBFO News

15 people continue to be helped by the Red Cross after fires struck four different homes across Western New York in just 24 hours.

The blazes started Friday afternoon with one in Kent, two in the city of Buffalo, and another in Alden. Jay Bonafede is the Chief Communications Officer for the Western and Central New York Region of the American Red Cross, and he says four fires are somewhat out of the ordinary…

“In the eight counties of WNY, we respond to a little more than one fire a day on average, so to have four in a 24-hour period is a little more than we usually do, but thanks to the volunteers, it’s not something that we’re unable to handle,” said Jay Bonafede.

Bonafede says the agency’s volunteers conduct cursory damage assessments to see if homes are still safe to live in and if clothing is salvageable, and then ensures emergency needs of food, clothing, and shelter is provided. He says the fires are a traumatic thing that none of us are truly prepared for, but that the agency has people who are used to dealing with these situations, including disaster mental health volunteers. Bonafede says their general answer is to try and get people back to as close to a pre-disaster state as they can.