MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) - After a house fire on the 700 block of S. 22 Street in Mt. Vernon, Illinois volunteers with the American Red Cross took the time to make sure all involved were safe.
The fire occurred on Sunday, March 19 and affected 12 people, three of which were adults and nine which were children.
Shelia Romano lives next door to the affected home and said she and other bystanders just happened to look at the house as it was overtaken by flames.
"We heard a young lady coming out of the house screaming and we all happened to look and we pretty much just told the family to call 911, call 911, and we happened to look and the house was completely engulfed," Romano said.
Red Cross volunteers ensured that everyone affected had a safe place to stay, food, clothing and emotional support.
Annually, in the American Red Cross Serving South Central Illinois area average, more than 400 families receive assistance after a disaster threatens to destroy their lives.
According to the Red Cross personnel, in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, the American Red Cross serving South Central Illinois assisted 502 families after a disaster.
Red Cross volunteers on the scene were members of the Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.
The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit redcross.org/prepare.