28 May 2014
Our volunteers were on hand to support shaken residents after a huge town centre fire in Norfolk caused chaos and destroyed a number of buildings.
The blaze erupted on 25 May, destroying a landmark building and damaging several other properties.
One hundred fire fighters spent hours tackling the fire, which led to the temporary evacuation of 13 homes. Five families have been left homeless by the incident.
Following call-outs from both the local fire service and council, the British Red Cross’ fire and emergency support service (FES) raced to the scene to help.
Richard Fish, FES team leader, said: “We provided practical items such as phone chargers – so people could keep in touch with friends and family – hygiene packs, and clean clothes for those who ran from their homes with nothing.”
He added: “Just as importantly, our volunteers’ presence meant residents had someone to talk to during an incredibly distressing time.”
The Red Cross team also provided support and refreshments at a rest centre hastily set up to shelter the evacuees.
By taking care of the people involved in such incidents, the Red Cross leaves the fire service free to concentrate on the incident itself.
Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “The council is always confident – and very grateful – that it can call on the Red Cross for support during emergencies.”