Friday, February 27, 2015

Red Cross Helps Pueblo Family Recover

By Bill Fortune

It was a cold February morning when Shantal Baker was awakened by a loud beeping noise. At first she didn’t recognize the noise but then the audible smoke alarm started chanting “Fire…Fire…Fire.” Moving quickly she began waking up the rest of the family, her husband Michael Smith, daughter Rebecca and 3-week old son Timothy.

Shantal and Michael holding 3-week old Timothy at the
Pueblo Red Cross office.
Photo by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
According to Baker, the smoke was not very noticeable at first but the family evacuated the home. By the time they were outside they could see the smoke from one of the rooms. The fire moved quickly through the home on Pueblo’s south side resulting in a total loss. Michael was able to grab a blanket to wrap the family in while they waited for the fire department. “We lost it all,” Baker said. “Everything went and in only a few minutes. Thank goodness we had a smoke alarm so that we could all get out safely.”

The Baker-Smith home after the fire. Photo provided
 by Shantal Baker
The family was helped by the Red Cross Disaster Action Team that day and over the next two days as they worked to recover from this personal disaster. They are staying with family while they look for a new place to live. The Red Cross gave them a few items to help with immediate needs like comfort kits and diapers. They were also given funds to help replace some of the clothing that was lost, especially winter clothing, along with food and infant supplies. “It will be good to get a coat for our daughter that actually fits.” Smith said. “We really appreciate what the Red Cross has done for us, and the support we are getting from our friends and the Pueblo community.”

This is just another example of how important it is to have a working smoke alarm in your home. The Red Cross has launched the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in an effort to educate people about the need to have a family emergency plan and a working smoke alarm.

If you would like to be part of this campaign go to our Home Fire Preparedness page to find out how you can help us reduce the number of fatalities caused by home fires.