East Texas sees most house fires in a decade - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

East Texas sees most house fires in a decade

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(KYTX) - This year's harsh winter may be over, but unfortunately it left many East Texans with much less than they started with.

This year marks the most house fires the East Texas Red Cross has seen in ten years. Unfortunately, that increase has soaked up all of the local Red RrossFfunding and directors are having to pull from elsewhere. 

"Starting over is not easy for anyone," says East Texas Red Cross Executive Director Tammi Prater.

Red Cross volunteers stepped in and helped every one of those families, even though there were dozens more disasters than they're used to handling in one season.

"We want to be there for any family that has a house fire, for any family that has any type of disaster in the area and we need the funds to do that," Prater says.

The problem now is, there's no local funding left. Prater says she has been dipping into national disaster funds to help local families since January.

Even though peak house fire season is wintertime, it doesn't stop now. 

"We are on the lookout all year long and especially now since it's severe weather season," Prater says.

The Red Cross volunteers will continue to take every call they get, hoping the community will step up to help each other recover from unforeseen disasters.

"We can't help them rebuild everything but we can help them get started," Prater says.

As Prater always says, you never know when you'll be the one needing help.

When people are displaced, the Red Cross gives them food, clothes, and a place to stay for a few nights. The organization sometimes even help with things like rent until people can get back on their feet. 

91 cents out of every dollar donated goes to the people in need. That's in large part because the majority of the red cross workers are volunteers.

To prevent fires in your home, always make sure you have a smoke detector and don't place those space heaters close to furniture. It's also a good idea to have an electrician come check your home's wiring. 

To donate to the local Red Cross, click here.


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