Arson takes a toll on the communityWith several high-profile apartment fires this season, volunteers from the Birmingham Area Chapter have assisted nearly 50% more individuals than in the previous year. While there has been an increase across the board in “single-family” house fires, the multi-unit structures have added a lot of publicity and attention.
Now that many of the recent apartment fires have been linked as arson, the American Red Cross has calculated just a part of the impact criminal activity has had on disaster relief. Counting just six incidents (four apartments and two homes), the cost to our donors in direct assistance alone is over $35,000.
“That does not begin to include the value of the volunteer and staff hours involved, nor does it count the strain on our United Way partner agencies and other non-profits that lend additional support and assistance,” said Chapter Executive Billy Baxter. “Most importantly, it pales in comparison to the losses incurred by those individual clients – many of whom can never truly replace what they lost.”
The American Red Cross is committed to providing emergency assistance to victims of disaster, whether natural or man-made. Intentional acts like these fires divert our resources away from prevention, community preparedness, and our capacity to respond to the truly unavoidable disasters.
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