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Red Cross has hands full following recent rash of fires

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 25 2013 09:06:26 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 25 2013 09:53:59 PM CST

Firefighters weren't the only busy ones this past weekend battling blazes from Pottsville, Schuylkill County to Heidelberg Township, Lehigh County and Bangor, Northampton County.

Firefighters weren't the only busy ones this past weekend battling blazes from Pottsville, Schuylkill County to Heidelberg Township, Lehigh County and Bangor, Northampton County.

The Red Cross tracks incidents it responds to from July 1st to June 30th and usually has about 100 every year but as of now it's already hit more than 40 and it's preparing for what could become a busy winter.

Regional CEO for the American Red Cross in Northeastern Pennsylvania Peter Brown says at least 13 families lost their homes.

"We're in the process of working with them to provide the basics. We start with what do you need so you can get through the next 48 to 72 hours,” he said.

The Red Cross is known for responding to disasters and helping with food, clothing, lodging... even medications.

But would it ever run out of resources?

"There's really no need for anyone to have a fear that if they're faced with a fire or an emergency that the Red Cross is not going to be able to respond," he said.

Brown says one of the main reasons it's possible is because of donations.

Close to half of the Red Cross' regional budget of $3.9 million is thanks to individual contributions.

"We're blessed with the generosity of the people here in the Lehigh Valley and across the region, so we've never had a concern where we had to make a decision based on a budget whether to respond to an incident," said Brown.

Brown adds the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers, especially ones who are willing to take part in their Disaster Action Teams which respond to disasters like the fires from this past weekend.

Call 610-865-440 for more information on volunteering opportunities.