Red Cross Responds to Eight Fires in Past Week 

The Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross has responded to eight fires in the past week.They are asking for the public’s help to replenish their relief funds.Meghan Hayward has more.”It’s the beginning of our fiscal year, July first. This is normally not what we consider fire season in the state of Maine. So to have this many fires and devastating fires is very unusual for us.”All the affected families have been between 3 to 9 people.Emergency Services Director, Gretchen O’Grady, says they spend about $800 per family.This past week has been a strain on their relief funds.”This time of year, the hotel expense is up because we’re a tourist state and many of the fires have been along the coastal area. We had two in Hancock County. So we expect to pay two or three times for hotels these families stay in. The fires have been quite devastating.”They are not a government agency and do not receive any funds from federal, state or county governments.”Seven counties. We’re half of the state of Maine. The people that we serve are also the communities that we get the money from to serve those people.”O’Grady says they’re seeing a lot of families who don’t have insurance or have let it go because of the economy.She says they’re the first ones there to help families when disaster strikes.”So we are that entity that picks up those initial pieces when they need it in the beginning of that disaster. Sometimes an insurance company doesn’t respond for 3 or 4 days or they’re waiting on the fire marshal to come. We are there to sort of help get them on their feet those first 3 or 4 days, so very important.”Donations to the Pine Tree Chapter’s Local Disaster Relief fund can be made online at, by phone at 941-2903 or by mail to 122 Target Industrial Circle Bangor 04401.