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Red Cross Services Demand Up

Local chapter called to high number of fires.
ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - Emergency service responders say the number of fire calls always  goes up with  the arrival of frigid temperatures and when those fire fighters respond  so does the Red Cross. The residential blaze outside of Claysburg was the most recent destructive fire that came to the attention of the Southern Alleghenies Chapter of the American Red Cross.
     
Since the start of November, the disaster service team of the chapter has been called out 14 different fire and responded to the needs of 58 people displaced by those fires.   
    
"We do assist them with their emergency needs such as food shelter and clothing.  Our volunteers go out   day or night, they are at the fire,   within about two hours,   after they have been called.  And provide these services."  
 
Making sure the immediate needs of fire victims are covered is a key goal of the local disaster recovery team. They are also in place to help support the emergency response workers who turn out at all hours and in all conditions to help protect the public safety.  Despite the very difficult conditions at this Blair County fire, the Red Cross volunteers were given high marks.
     
"Yes red cross did a fantastic job   last night with   assisting the family. And assisting   the fire companies   they did a terrific job."     

Fire prevention experts say the number of recent blazes should serve as a warning that especially during the very cold weather, property owners   should be extra careful when their heating systems are called on to deal with the extreme conditions.
     
"Fires do tend to occur   this time of the year,   when people are turning on their heat,    or when they are using alternate heat sources   such   as wood burners, fire places, and that type of thing,   and it is a very dangerous thing."

The Altoona based chapter of the Red Cross says it is  able to provide  the  emergency services to local fire victims  and emergency responders because of the  volunteers and  financial support  provided   by the community.

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