Fire Response and Prevention

A grease fire sends a local family seeking shelter and emergency workers pulling double duty.

A fire at the apartment complex on Mabry Street left six families homeless Friday night. Saturday a fire at Westover Drive left another family without shelter. In just two days the Red Cross is looking to house, feed and cloth all of them.

"The Red Cross not only responds to those large disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis, but day in and day out we're responding to these single family fires throughout our eight counties. In the given year we'll respond to help 180 families," said Chris Floyd, the director of the Capital Area Red Cross.

The families need the basic essentials: a roof and a meal, and mental support.

"They're pretty shaken up. When you lost your home and everything in it, you just don't know what to do," added Red Cross volunteer Denali Vonderfecht. "And they're really comforted by the fact that we all came out to help them late at night."

Outside of responding to disasters, this year the Red Cross is focusing on doing everything it can to prevent fire before it gets out of control.

A certified emergency response team is training on basic knowledge of how to respond to a fire or chemical exposure. The Red Cross says it's only January, so there's still time to make this year a little safer than last.

If you want to become a certified emergency response team member, call 850-894-6741.