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Federal complaint filed against Red Cross following house fire near 21st and Auer

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A local family says the Red Cross would not help them after a fire because they lived in one of the 10 zip codes in the city that the organization was no longer going on the scene to help.

But now, The Red Cross says that family did, in fact, get help.

On Wednesday, The Red Cross reversed its controversial policy but one family says no one showed up to their home on 21st and Auer back on December 28.

An attorney for the family filed a federal complaint, asking the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice to look into it.

"We were asking for Red Cross at the scene of the fire and at first they told us 'they were coming, they were coming,' but they never did. Eventually, they told us to come back to the police station where the Red Cross would meet up. We waited around and eventually were just told we should go to them. We went there and the only info they gave us was to seek help from community advocate for further information," said family member Latoya Lewis.

Milwaukee Police say six families were displaced in that incident because the fire spread to the home next door.

The Red Cross says the family was given several hundred dollars of emergency financial assistance on December 28 after meeting at the American Red Cross Office.  

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