A fire broke out in an apartment complex in La Crosse on Sunday causing 17 people to be displaced.
On Monday, the Red Cross says it’s helping those displaced
“We got the call yesterday morning and we deployed our volunteers out to the location,” said Tom Mooney, the Chief Operating Officer for the Wisconsin region Red Cross. “We were able to help three of the families, not only with lodging [and] certainly with food and clothing as well. But, [also] with financial assistance for them to get their feet somewhat back on the ground.
According to the Fire Department, all five of the building’s units had smoke and fire damage, leaving the whole complex non-livable.
According to Mooney, this is one of the bigger displacements the Red Crass has seen in the last few months. He says five families lived in the building.
For Mooney, he says it’s important that the Red Cross helps not only financially, but also with some of the psychological effects a fire can leave.
“We also have mental health related services as well,” said Mooney. “So, our folks can talk to them as well about the grieving process, about what it’s like to have a fire, to lose something and maybe look at what it does to them on a mental health perspective.”
The Red Cross is some of the first assistance fire victims receive, but the organization’s presence remains even after the flames are put out.
“We always stay for that first week or two. We will follow up with them. Certainly, their immediate needs, we try to take care of as soon as possible and then start working with other agencies and referrals,” said Mooney.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.