Two Fires Last Weekend Leave Families Homeless: Community Steps Up To Assist
Published: February 13th, 2015
By: Michael Collins

NEW BERLIN – During the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 7, emergency crews were called to two separate residential fires in the Town of New Berlin. Both incidences resulted in a total loss for the families involved.

New Berlin Fire responded to a house fire around 3 a.m. on Saturday at 1377 Turnpike Road in New Berlin. Assistance was provided by the North Norwich, Earlville, West Edmeston, Pittsfield, South New Berlin, and Sherburne fire departments. Crews were able to extinguish the flames with no injuries. Later that morning, another fire was reported at a trailer located on County Road 34 in South New Berlin. South New Berlin Fire responded to the call and was assisted by the Norwich, Oxford, and Mount Upton departments. Again, no injuries were reported and the flames were extinguished.

Both incidences resulted in total loss.

The Gorrell and Fink families were both left in dire situations as a result of Saturday's fires. But thanks to The American Red Cross and the local community, these two families will receive the help they need in these troubling times.

Jill Deskins, the Disaster Program Manager at The American Red Cross in Norwich said, “The Red Cross responded to both fires and we did assist them with their emergency needs.”

The American Red Cross responds to emergencies like this on a case-to-case basis. Every situation is handled differently – depending on the needs of the people involved. “It depends on the case and on the magnitude of the disaster,” said Deskins. “If they need a place to stay then we can put them up in a hotel for a few days. If they need food, we can give them financial assistance for food. Or if they need clothing we can give them financial assistance for clothing.”

The Red Cross will also follow up with the families in the time after the disaster. “After that we reach out to the families to find out if they have any other needs,” said Deskins. “If its something we can assist with, we do. Or we can refer them to other agencies if its not something The Red Cross can help with.”

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