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Worthing residents helped after cylinder scare

3 December 2009

British Red Cross volunteers have been working around the clock to care for people in West Sussex following a fire involving acetylene cylinders.

The Red Cross was called out at 3am today by West Sussex Fire and Rescue, after a fire broke out in an industrial unit in Friar Walk, Worthing. Twenty emergency response volunteers have been supporting evacuees at a rest centre set up by the council. Volunteers have helped around 100 people whose homes had to be evacuated.

Evacuated in the middle of the night

Red Cross senior services manager Gloria Moss said: “As people had to leave their homes in the middle of the night, many just had their nightclothes on and no possessions. We have given them blankets and hot food and drink to keep them warm.

"We've seen many vulnerable and elderly people, many of whom have left medication at home, so some Red Cross volunteers have been fetching medicine for the people who needed it.

"For others, it's been something as simple as a reassuring word at what has been a distressing time. We are expecting to be here for some hours yet and our trained volunteers will be on hand for as long as we are needed.”

Red Cross volunteers have also been providing food and drink for the emergency services on the scene.

More about emergency response volunteering

More about fire and emergency support service volunteering

Find out about the Red Cross in Sussex