Schoharie County area fire departments Saturday battled two blazes within hours of each other, including one that displaced 12 people, and the other that damaged a garage.
The Cobleskill Fire Department was on the scene at a structure fire on Lark Street at 7 p.m. that displaced 10 adults and two children, according to media reports.
The multi-family structure housed four family apartments and was battled with the help of the Middleburgh, Richmondville, Carlisle and Schoharie County fire departments.
The American Red Cross of Eastern New York was on the scene to aid the families.
“The primary thing that we provide is assistance for some type of lodging or shelter,” Mary Alice Molgard, Red Cross Disaster Public Affairs Team Lead, said Sunday afternoon in a telephone interview. “People who have just lost their home, many times they don’t have anywhere else to go.
“We provide what is essentially a debit card and the clients can use that for whatever their most immediate needs are. That can include finding a place to stay a couple of nights and for replacement clothing, essentials, food for the next few days.”
The Red Cross also provides comfort kits for the individuals – deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, and basic hygiene necessities.
The Red Cross helps connect the individuals with other service providers.
“We sometimes work with the social services departments in a particular town or county for trying to help find some long-term housing,” Molgard said. “We put them in touch with the right authorities, the right people who have the resources to help out.”
Earlier in the day, the Middleburgh Fire Department was on scene at a garage fire at the crossroads of Maple and Pine streets just after 1 p.m. MFD was assisted by Hunterlands, Schoharie, and Cobleskill fire departments along with the Schoharie County FAST and FIVES units.
The Eastern NY chapter covers 27 counties and support is always needed.
“The best way to help is cash donations because we can’t handle things like clothing donations; it’s not possible to do that,” Molgard said. “With a cash donation it’s available to be used for everybody in every circumstance.”
To donate to the Red Cross visit RedCross.org
or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Reach Stan Hudy at