by Krystal Smith, American Red Cross Regional Digital Communications Specialist
Yesterday started like any other day, Jamiaya and Elizabeth left their house to take their kids to school having no idea the devastation the day had in store. After dropping each of their children at school and running some errands, they decided to head back home.
They walked inside and immediately smelled smoke. It was coming from the garage where their four dogs were staying safe from the cold weather. Jamiaya’s brother, Kendrick, opened the door as smoke and flames pour into their home.
Grabbing what they could, all family members, including their four dogs and Larry, their pet lizard, escaped. Standing on the curb, staring at their home, their only thoughts were “what now?”
Fortunately, #RedCross volunteers, Carol, Melissa and Wynette were there to help. They provided warm blankets to block the chill, snacks & water to calm their anxiety, hugs & words of comfort, and additional assistance so the family, including two adults and ten children, would have a safe and comfortable place to sleep as they begin the process of finding a new home.
“Truly, thank y’all [Red Cross] so much for being here and for everything,” expressed Jamiaya as she headed into the house to see what was left.
Every day the Red Cross responds to home fires just like these. Families whose entire world is turned upside down in a matter of minutes. While Jamiaya & Elizabeth’s families were fortunate to get out, not all are that lucky.
Take steps today to help protect your family from home fires. Test your smoke alarm, make an escape plan and practice it often. Follow these helpful tips and download the Red Cross emergency app to learn more about fire safety.
Now you can be part of helping the American Red Cross Sound the Alarm to end home fires. Take part in this life-saving initative to reduce home fire related deaths and injuries by 25% by the year 2020. Together we can educate families on home fire safety and install free smoke alarms in homes that need them. To-date this campaign has already saved 303 lives and installed more than 1 million smoke alarms. Help us continue this life-saving mission! Learn more at soundthealarm.org.