Red Cross searches for local volunteers as cold temperatures lead to increase in house fires

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The American Red Cross says it’s looking for a few good volunteers to help with a major operation.

“It’s kind of the busy season when it comes to residential and apartment fires,” said Scott Griggs with the American Red Cross.

Griggs said as temperatures cool down and people find a way to keep warm, the organization will need more volunteers to keep with the demands of helping victims of house fires.

“What we’ll do is provide them with some kind of assistance to get them through the next couple of days, so they can get everything figured out,” he said.

According to Griggs, volunteers with the local chapter respond to the largest number of house fires than any other American Red Cross chapter in America.

Since 2018, local volunteers have responded to 921 fires, that impacted 2,862 people in the KC metro.

Many of the fires Griggs said happen in the latter part of the year.

“We`ll start to see an influx in furnace fires and space heater fires starting in mid-October going all the way through February,” he said.

With hundreds of fires expected over the next few months, the lack of volunteers to handle the call could leave some volunteers burned out — and families waiting for help.

“I mean there are times where we`ll have several fires in a particular sequence. Sometimes they`ll go to a fire and immediately have to go to another one,” Griggs said.

“In my experience, they’ve just been incredibly grateful,” Griggs said of the victims. “The fact that someone cares about them and has gone out and helped them and figured out what that next step is it`s gratifying to us.”

To learn more about volunteering with the American Red Cross, visit this site.

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