When a fire ripped through a Thomaston apartment building Oct. 9, 10 households were left with virtually nothing. The 15 people displaced by the fire are being assisted by volunteers from the Pine Tree and Midcoast Chapters of the American Red Cross, with food, clothing, immediate medical needs, and referrals to other social service agencies.

On Sunday, Red Cross Volunteers Dorothy Meriwether of Spruce Head and Andrew Eckman of Bremen met with 10 of the building’s tenants, making sure that all had safe places to stay, food to eat, and clothing to wear. While many tenants are currently staying with friends or relatives in the area, several were immediately placed by the Red Cross in a local hotel.

Eckman said in a news release, “The fire fighters who responded to this dangerous fire did a heroic job. In fact, one of the residents of the building was a Thomaston fire fighter.” He added, “Fires like this one can be especially devastating to families who lose their homes and personal belongings. Taking care of their emergency needs is something all of us at the Red Cross are helping with. We’re just so lucky no one lost their life”.

Connie Jones, executive director of the Midcoast Chapter of the American Red Cross said, “The most active response time for home fires is about to begin. The combination of cold weather and holiday accidents makes October through February a high activity period for fire departments and for the Red Cross.” The American Red Cross receives no money from the state or federal government to provide its services to disaster victims. All Red Cross disaster assistance is provided to victims as an outright gift from individuals and businesses in the community.

To assist the victims of this disaster and the all too many fires experienced each year in the community, donations may be sent to the Mid Coast Chapter, American Red Cross, 16 Community Way, Topsham ME 04086 or by calling 729-6779 or 563-3299.