YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A home on Garfield Street in Youngstown was completely destroyed Friday night, leaving a family of seven — including a pregnant mother — homeless. Fire crews showed up right after 8 p.m. and everyone got out of the home safely.
Still, shortly after, the American Red Cross got the call to come help.
“A lot of people don’t realize that the most important work the Red Cross does in a local community is house fires,” said Karen Cronkite of Red Cross.
They met with the mother to figure out the next steps for the family.
The Red Cross has a set financial amount they’ll give families on the spot to get them through the night.
“We’re able to, onsite, load a debit card for them,” Cronkite said.
Cronkite said they’ll meet with the family Monday or Tuesday to help them with the next steps of where they’re going to go.
She added that the Red Cross has the ability to work with other organizations in the area like Goodwill and the Salvation Army to help families like this one get on the road to recovery.
“From the time we get the call from the fire department, we are mandated to be on site within two hours,” Cronkite said.
Cronkite says that fall and winter is around the time they start seeing more and more house fires.
With cold weather starting to hit and the holidays right around the corner, she said overloaded electrical circuits or heaters cause most of the fires they see.
“People trying to keep their homes warm, candles,” Cronkite said. “I mean we know come fall and into winter until spring, this is going to be our busiest response time.”
WKBN learned Monday that the Arson Unit is investigating the cause of the fire.