Red Cross, citizens pitch in to fight fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Red Cross, citizens pitch in to fight fire

 April 17, 2007


Waycross --   The Ware County fire already destroyed several homes and severely damaged others. Many people forced to evacuate yesterday have not been allowed back into those blocked off areas.  They have no idea whether their property was damaged.      

Help is on the way for them. The Red Cross set up at the Ware County evacuee center and other shelters in the area.  

They'll begin helping people whose homes are damaged as soon as they find out about any property destruction. "We sit down with them and help them assess their needs and that could be anything from clothing to medicine and medical supplies," said Red Cross Emergency Services Director Rita Brookshire.  

They say they'll also offer hotel vouchers and debit cards to help them get back on their feet.

Many citizens not directly affected by the fire are helping those who are. South Georgia businesses and churches donated meals for those displaced by the fire and food and water for the men and women working around the clock to put it out.  Many dropped off groceries to relief points as they got off work, looking to offer any relief for those working long hours.  

Volunteer Coordinators say the donations began to pour in as soon as the fire started, and the situation would be worse if people hadn't pitched in. "It would be horrible," said Volunteer Coordinator Tammy Brown.  "The guys would be passing out, probably in the hospital.  It would be really bad.  If it wasn't for all the water, it's just amazing.  This is nothing compared to what we've gotten since this morning."

They expect almost 200 volunteers to donate their time, and it will continue to be needed as more firefighters respond to Ware County over the next few days.

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