Two apartment fires in Raleigh helped make April a particularly busy month for the American Red Cross, which says it assisted 184 families displaced by house fires in Eastern North Carolina last month, up nearly 24 percent from the year before.
The fires, on the dry, blustery afternoon of April 9, destroyed 12 units of the Pinnacle Apartments near Crabtree Valley Mall and six units in an apartment building on Coolridge Court, in northeast Raleigh. Red Cross volunteers provide displaced families with financial assistance, shelter, food and mental health services, if needed.
Barry Porter, chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Eastern North Carolina, said people expect the Red Cross to show up after a hurricane or a tornado but don’t realize how many fires the agency responds to on a daily basis.
“We were on the scene of a home fire about six times every single day in April,” said Porter, whose agency covers 53 counties in the eastern half of the state. “Families in our region couldn’t catch a break. And it’s our job to be right beside them after a fire, providing hope, financial assistance and guidance in order for them to begin their recovery.”