Early Saturday morning, June 24, local Red Cross volunteers were called to the scene of a multi-unit apartment fire in University Place. Members of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) were immediately dispatched and arrived at the scene of Castellan West Apartments, 2509 Cascade Place West, University Place, 98466. Residents were forced to flee from their homes as the fire quickly spread through the building. Initial reports indicated that 35 units were affected by the fire and an estimated 100 residents displaced from their homes.
The American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter opened an emergency shelter at Curtis High School. Red Cross disaster volunteers were there to provide safe shelter, food, cots, and blankets for residents seeking refuge. During the weekend, a Red Cross Service Center was opened to follow-up with clients and to assess their immediate emergency needs. As of Monday afternoon, the Red Cross opened 32 cases and provided emergency assistance for 39 adults and 17 children (56 individuals total).
In addition, disaster clients that have to move and relocate to new apartments will be offered Red Cross assistance with their first month’s rent and security deposit. Relief operations are expected to continue throughout the rest of the week. Over 30 local Red Cross disaster relief workers have been mobilized to support response to the University Place apartment fire. They have been working around-the-clock to support relief efforts.
The Red Cross Disaster Response Trailer (DRT) which contains cots, blankets, a shelter kit, nurse’s kit, and additional supplies to support relief efforts was dispatched to the scene. The Red Cross DRT was donated by the Employees Community Fund of Boeing. The local Red Cross Disaster Response Vehicle (DRV) was also sent out to provide canteen services during the operation.
The Red Cross is working with community partners Goodwill Industries, and Operations Hands On from University Place, to collect in-kind donations such as clothing, furniture, food, and other items. Because there is no way of knowing what spontaneous individual donations or unsolicited collections of items will consist of, the Red Cross cannot ensure there will be enough of a particular item to distribute it equitably, or if the donated products will even be appropriate for the relief effort. Therefore, the Red Cross cannot accept individual donations of items. Goodwill Industries (253) 472-5160 and Operations Hands On (253) 273-9616 have the ability to process and accept these types of in-kind donations.
One of the best ways to support the work of the American Red Cross and help disaster victims, people in need where you live, is through a financial donation. It is the fastest and most effective way to assist families affected by a disaster and provides for the most flexible use of resources.
The Red Cross responds 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides a vast array of programs and services throughout the community because of the dedication of local volunteers and contributions by generous donors. The American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter responds to a disaster every 48 hours in our community & the majority of Red Cross disaster relief efforts are for residential fires. For local families in our community who rely on the Red Cross to help them through some of the most difficult times in their lives, your generous support and compassionate donation to the Red Cross offers them HOPE. The American Red Cross is not a government agency.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of this recent disasters and future disasters in our community by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling, medication replacement, and other assistance to those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. Your contribution to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund will ensure that the financial resources will be available to provide for emergency needs when disaster strikes.
Contact your local American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter at 253-474-0400. Contributions may be sent to your American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter, ATTN: Disaster Relief Fund, 1235 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.rainier-redcross.org.