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Red Cross volunteers assist 7 at Southern Tier fires

Three American Red Cross volunteers drove from the Buffalo area to the Southern Tier Sunday to assist two families in Jamestown and Freedom who needed immediate assistance with food, clothing and housing because of fires in their homes, Red Cross spokesman Jay Bonafede announced Tuesday.

Jeanie Shiffer and Madeline Morganti assisted a Jamestown family of two adults and two children. Norm Kehl want to Freedom in Cattaraugus County to assist a family of two adults and one child. They arranged for the families to meet with caseworkers to work out a long-term recovery plan, he said.

Bonafede said the Red Cross has an initiative going nationwide to try to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by house fires by 25 percent over the next five years, asking households to ensure their existing smoke alarms are working and by having all in the family practice fire drills at home on a periodic basis. He said as part of that Home Fire Campaign the Red Cross is teaming with fire departments and community groups nationwide to install free smoke detectors in homes that need them.

Bonafede said more information on the program or to schedule an installation appointment for a smoke alarm persons can call 716-878-2353 or email;