Increase in house fires takes toll on American Red Cross Wisconsin

3 fires displace families since Friday
Posted at 8:11 PM, Feb 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-04 21:11:54-05

An uptick in house fires this year in Milwaukee county and surrounding areas has Red Cross Wisconsin responders busier than usual. 

In a tweet posted Saturday morning, the group referenced assisting three families -- one in a house fire in Milwaukee and two others in house fires in the city of Racine Friday night.

Sandra Aranda witnessed a fire that started in her Racine neighbors’ fire pit and quickly spread Friday night. The flames engulfed the back of the home, evening causing an estimated $20,000 worth of damage.

“It was very very scary because it was big," Aranda said.

According to the Racine Fire Department, the family of eight living in the home was displaced following the fire. The American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the family with temporary housing and financial support, a service volunteers said they enjoy providing, however, something that doesn't come cheap.

“It does put a toll on us, we’re all volunteers," said volunteer Kris McAleese. "We do have other jobs and that kind of stuff, but it is something that we love to do.”

So far this year, the Red Cross Wisconsin has assisted 460 people in 94 different events with 182 filed cases.

On average, each case costs the Red Cross about $550 -- a cost that prompts the group to continue to ask for monetary donations and additional volunteer support.