7 April 2010
British Red Cross volunteers are helping care for families forced to leave their homes after a fire broke out in a high-rise block of flats in Southampton.
Two firefighters were killed in the blaze, which started at about 8pm on Tuesday. The Red Cross was called out by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to give practical and emotional support to the hundreds of people whose homes had to be evacuated. Those people who have not found alternative accommodation are being cared for by Red Cross volunteers, as well as staff from other agencies, at a nearby Salvation Army centre.
Red Cross fire and emergency support service volunteers worked through the night alongside Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Further volunteers were requested by Southampton City Council to assist in the rest centre, where they are now providing people affected by the fire with practical help, advice and comfort.
Red Cross duty manager Sarah Park said: “There are about 300 people being looked after in the rest centre and as you can imagine many are worried and anxious. People have had to leave their homes suddenly with nothing so we have been supporting them as best as we can with first aid for minor injuries and emotional support. Our trained volunteers will be helping for as long as they are needed, which is expected to be for much of today.”