Help sought for families of house, apartment fires

by W. Winston Skinner

Help is being sought for a Grantville family who lost their home in a recent fire, and the American Red Cross and Salvation Army are joining forces to meet the needs of families who lived in an apartment that burned Thursday.

The home of Dusty and Amanda Poss on Whrite Place off Bradbury Road in Grantville burned on Jan. 25. “They lost everything and said any help would be greatly appreciated,” said their neighbor, Grantville City Councilman David Riley. “Luckily, no one was at home.”

Donations to help the Posses will be accepted next week at Grantville City Hall during regular office hours.

Several families have needs after eight apartments and a townhouse burned at Jefferson Point Apartments early Thursday. The Newnan Service Center of the Salvation Army is gathering clothing and blankets to help families who lost belongings in the apartment fire.

“I am reaching out to everyone I can think of,” Stephanie May, service center director, said Friday. Clothing items are “desperately needed.”

The Salvation Army operates a thrift store locally, near the apartments on Jefferson Street. “The staff here in Newnan are doing their best — going through the warehouse to find” the clothing in the sizes needed, May said.

People may bring clothing and shoes of all sizes — as well as blankets — to the Salvation Army service center at 670 Jefferson St. “I know the families would greatly appreciate it,” May said. Items may be brought to the center Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

May said the service center opened its doors Friday at 8 a.m. “to serve the families with coffee, food and clothing.” The Salvation Army and the Georgia Three Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross have been coordinating efforts to help the Jefferson Point families. “We appreciate everything Red Cross has done for these families,” May said.

Lisa Matheson of the regional Red Cross office said a disaster action team from the Georgia Three Rivers Chapter helped 32 people who lost their homes in the Jefferson Point fire.

“Even though the area is still recovering from the recent snowstorm, the American Red Cross is on the job to help people in the face of emergencies,” said Jessica McFadden, disaster program manager. “There were nine apartments… destroyed. We are very thankful that everyone made it out safely.”

The Red Cross took care of families’ immediate emergency needs by providing financial assistance for food and clothing as well as hotel accommodations to 19 adults and 13 children. Referrals were also made to partner agencies — including the Salvation Army — for longer term needs.

“One affected family could not be reached while the disaster action team was on site. The Red Cross will follow up with them to ensure their needs are met, as well,” Matheson said.

Riley talked about the fire at the Poss home at the Jan. 27 Grantville City Council meeting. He spoke of how devastating it is “when you lose everything you have.”

Riley asked local residents to bring gift cards or monetary contributions to the town hall. “Everybody, come together,” he urged.



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