‘Tremendous financial strain’: Red Cross asking for help following several fires in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — After several fires destroyed apartments and homes throughout the city in the last couple of weeks, the Milwaukee Fire Department is calling on the community to help the Red Cross of Wisconsin.

A 72-year-old man died in a fire on Thursday, Jan. 28 in an apartment complex near 29th and Mitchell. The fire left more than 100 people displaced.

“Came home from work last Thursday and found out the apartment caught on fire,” Displaced resident Robert Carter said.

The Red Cross is working to provide resources, but need help. Currently, they are providing 90 hotel rooms and 375 meals a day to those impacted.

“It’s not just me, it’s everybody at this apartment is homeless so I just hope things work out,” Carter said. “I’m living at the hotel right now and come to find out, next week Monday is my last day for the hotel, so I’m trying to talk to the Red Cross to see if they’re going to extend for me to stay longer.”

So far this year, the Red Cross says they’ve worked with more than 500 people in the region, which they believe is an increase compared to years past.

“These fires are going to result in tremendous financial strain on the Red Cross and our community probably well into the six figures, so if you feel compelled to help, you can do that,” American Red Cross Regional CEO Mark Thomas.

Besides donations, the Red Cross is also looking for volunteers, both in person and virtual.

“If you can help out with this you will be helping out with a much larger community, wellness initiative here because these are folks that right now, they literally don’t have anywhere to go,” Milwaukee Fire Department Acting Chief Aaron Lipski said.

More information can be found on the Red Cross of Wisconsin website.

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