Written by Lois Beckman, Executive Director, Riverside County Chapter
We responded to a senior high-rise apartment fire early this morning in downtown Riverside. Many of you may have seen the incident on the morning news. Some of our volunteers were on site for more than eight hours assisting the residents.
Fortunately, the Dale Senior Center, which is located next door, was able to be opened and used as a care and reception center for the residents. The Riverside Fire Department did an excellent job evacuating the residents and keeping the fire contained to one floor, though I believe the floor below experienced water damage.
By the time I arrived on site at about 5:30 a.m. many residents were being allowed to return to their homes. Those whose apartments were damaged were assisted by us and transported to motels to get some much needed rest. In all, we have opened 14 cases with 3 additional pending (2 people were transported to the hospital with smoke inhalation and are expected to be OK, and one was picked up by a family member).
I am always amazed and impressed by the compassionate response of our volunteers. As they passed out warm blankets, coffee and snacks to the residents, they also offered a sympathetic ear and provided reassurance that Red Cross was there to help. The individuals who received financial assistance on site were so very appreciative.
So THANK YOU for all that you do that made it possible for us to be there!