During the past week, the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross has responded to reports of eight house fires in Hancock, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Aroostook and Waldo counties.
Each fire has displaced a family of three to nine people. The chapter has helped 40 children, women and men with emergency shelter, food, clothing, medication replacement and emotional support, according to Gretchen O’Grady, the chapter’s emergency services director.
The fires affected 13 people from Orland and Gouldsboro, six in Dexter, five from Charleston, a St. Francis family of nine, and four people in Unity.
There have been more than 200 local disasters requiring a Pine Tree Chapter response in the past year, O’Grady said in a prepared statement Monday.
“But eight fires in one week is very unusual” she said.
Shannon Flavin, the chapter’s executive director, said the agency’s Local Disaster Relief Fund is running low and in need of bolstering. The Pine Tree Chapter has provided more than $2,500 to area disaster victims since the beginning of July, she said. The Red Cross does not receive funds from federal, state or county governments, she noted.
“Local disaster relief is a gift from Mainers to their neighbors, and we can use their help right now,” Flavin said.
Donations to the Pine Tree Chapter’s Local Disaster Relief Fund can be made online at pinetree.redcross.org, by phone at 941-2903.