Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DIsaster Action Team Responds to Hotel Fire in Pueblo

DAT Captain John Goorley coordinates with ACOVA
and Pueblo FD to help affected residents of Bramble
Tree Hotel in Pueblo
By Bill Fortune/American Red Cross

Freezing drizzle, light snow and falling temperatures greeted Dan Chavez as he arrived at the Bramble Tree Hotel in Pueblo. The acrid smell of smoke was everywhere. Lights from fire trucks lit up the air as fire fighters worked to save the facility. Chavez is a member of the Disaster Action Team in Pueblo, Colo. He was responding to a call to help people who might be displaced by a fire at the hotel.

DAT Member Dan Chavez works to locate temporary
lodging for Bramble Tree Hotel residents if needed. 
When Chavez arrived he was greeted by a large crowd huddled in the hotel’s breakfast room while firefighters worked to secure the facility.  “Hotel fires are always difficult,” said Chavez. “There is a lot of confusion and the residents are tired and upset.”

The disaster team went to work right away to try and reassure people.  Team Captain John Goorley and his wife Sherrie also responded to the early morning call. The team’s first task was to coordinate with the fire department to determine what units were affected and how many people were in need of help.

Nancy Mungaray, a resident at the hotel, was awakened by alarms and commotion. She was happy to see the Red Cross helping. “It was hard to get information until the Red Cross showed up,” she said.”They were able to talk to the fire department so that we knew what was happening.”

The Pueblo Fire Department was able to contain the damage to one room with some residual damage to nearby units. Residents were allowed to return to the livable rooms. Hotel management provided rooms for a two families. Red Cross will be working with two additional adults to determine what needs they might have.

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