STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) — A fire in Steelton chased more than 20 people out of their homes as flames spread to three houses Saturday afternoon.
The Red Cross is helping four families impacted and met with a fifth Monday. Right now, the priority is meeting their basic needs.
“Food, lodging and whatever those immediate needs are in the aftermath of that disaster,” said Laura Burke, executive director of the Red Cross Central PA chapter.
At least 10 adults and nine children were impacted, and the Red Cross is helping them access resources.
“Often it’s resources for lodging, it’s resources for food, clothing if clothing was lost,” Burke said.
Stacey Smith lived in one of the homes that was damaged. She was at work when the fire started and got a phone call from her boyfriend.
“He said, ‘Babe, get home, our house is on fire, get home now,'” Smith said.
She rushed home but says she lost everything.
“I could see the smoke coming off of the highway, off of Paxton Street,” she said. “I said dear God, I knew, I knew it was over.”
The fire also injured four people. Their injuries are non-life threatening, but Burke said it is not just about physical health.
“The Red Cross also has volunteers who can help with any kind of mental health struggles that are happening, certainly when you experience a disaster, there’s a significant shock,” she said.
Red Cross case workers will continue to work with families for at least a month to help them get back on their feet and connect them with long-term resources.
“Whatever that looks like for the individual family, the Red Cross will be able to support that,” Burke said.
Community members who want to help can also reach out to Renae Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the borough at (717) 939-9842.
abc27 also reached out to Steelton Fire to find out if the damaged homes had smoke detectors. Steelton Fire said that will come out in the Fire Marshal’s investigation.