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PRESS CONTACT INFO

ROBIN ERICKSON
Director of Communications

PHONE
(401) 831-7700 x101
E-MAIL
[email protected]

Thursday, April 4, 2002
Red Cross Assisting Hospitalized Victims of Last Night's Woonsocket Fire -- A total of 37 Fire Victims Receiving Red Cross Assistance Since Sunday

After assisting victims at the scene of last night's fatal fire in Woonsocket, American Red Cross disaster volunteers spent the rest of the night at a local hospital, securing shelter and meals for 12 individuals who were released from the hospital after being treated for smoke inhalation.

The Red Cross assisted 3 residents of 1043 Social Street in Woonsocket at the fire scene, providing shelter at a local hotel and meals. There were four additional residents who stayed with family members last night, but are expected to meet with Red Cross caseworkers today, according to Sarah Bilofsky, Communications Director for the American Red Cross of Rhode Island.

The Red Cross will also be providing grief counseling and additional services to the family of the victim who died in the blaze, if those services are needed, Bilofsky added.

Following the fire, Red Cross volunteers met with 12 additional victims as they were released from the hospital, providing hotel rooms, meals and clothing to the victims. One of the families assisted were visiting relatives at the time of the fire and were not occupants of the 6-family structure.

This is the third fire the Red Cross has responded to this week. Early Sunday morning, 19 victims were assisted at 30 Parnell Street in Providence. Yesterday afternoon, a single-family house fire left 3 people homeless at 8 Willow Street in Johnston. The Red Cross has provided emergency services to 37 Rhode Islanders, displaced by fire this week.

"Since we typically spend $1,000 per family of four that we assist, it has been a very expensive week for us," Sarah Bilofsky, Director of Communications for the American Red Cross of Rhode Island, said. "We are asking that people make a contribution to the Red Cross Fire Victims Fund. That money stays right here in Rhode Island to help local fire victims, including those we assisted last night."

Bilofsky said contributions can be mailed, called in (401.831.7700) with a credit card, or processed on-line at www.riredcross.org the Red Cross website.

Including last night's fire, the Red Cross has responded to 41 fires in 2002.

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