Even after Red Cross help, Raleigh families struggle to recover from apartment fire
RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Two weeks after a major fire displaced 26 people at a Raleigh apartment complex, neighbors have now said that although temporary help from the Red Cross helped, they are still struggling.
A neighbor told CBS 17 on Thursday that it has been difficult to find a new place to live with the current high market demand and high rental prices.
Barry Porter is the regional CEO of the American Red Cross for Eastern North Carolina and said after a fire, displaced families are the hardest hit.
“Firefighters are there to save lives and property. They roll up their gear and go home, or go back to the station anyway, and the family is kind of lost,” Porter said.
He said that in the United States, fires are the most common disasters.
In the eastern part of the state, North Carolina has an average of 4 in 5 families displaced after a fire.
But thanks to a partnership with the local fire department, 1,100 volunteers are always ready to lend a hand.
“Food, clothing, shelter, mental health support – these are the first things, for the 3-7 days (after the fire), that the family is going to need. Where can I go? Where can I stay? Then it’s that road to healing,” Porter said.
But it is the recovery process that weighs on many families. Most families receive help for the first few days or week, but every fire and every circumstance is different depending on resources.
“In fact, we will be there with the family with direct financial assistance. Then we will work with them (and) with the community, other organizations and referrals and connectivity,” he said. “And then help the family understand that they also need to take direct action to recover.”
Additionally, Porter said many people can prevent fires by making sure they have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers nearby.
At this time, the Raleigh Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire off Melvid Court.