The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

December 12, 2013

Red Cross responding more often in cold weather

OTTUMWA — With all of the good that comes from this time of the year, it has to be equaled out by one thing that is just downright terrible: house fires.

As noted in previous Courier articles, Ottumwa has been far busier than usual in 2013 with structure fires, and this seems to be the time of year when they are most prevalent. Not only does that mean firefighters are responding to more calls than they have in the past, but workers from the American Red Cross are also keeping very busy with providing assistance to those at residential fires.

According to Kara Kelly, Regional Communications Officer for the Red Cross serving Greater Iowa, volunteers have been called to residential fires 54 times since Nov. 1 in 49 counties around Iowa. Just in the past week, there have been 13 instances where volunteers have had to provide assistance in 10 different counties, including Van Buren and Davis counties, and that number seems to be growing by the day.

Not only have there been quite a few fires of late, but they have been spread all around Iowa, causing Red Cross volunteers to have to go to all corners of the state. It seems, according to Kelly, that once the weather gets cold, residential fires seem to heat up.

“Quite honestly, it has been all over the state,” she said. “There isn’t really a fire season, but we tend to be a little busier when it gets colder.”

The high number of calls was echoed by Janelle Schmid, from the Ottumwa American Red Cross office, who said they have kept busy assisting fire victims recently.

“It has been fairly steady, and this is the time of year when it picks up,” she said.

Although Red Cross gets called for assistance at these residence fires, sometimes they get good news that the family has the proper insurance and doesn’t need the services Red Cross offers. But, unfortunately, that isn’t always the situation. Kelly said they have opened 64 cases since Nov. 1, and usually in each case they are providing assistance to an entire family, not just one person.

Text Only
Ottumwa
  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth

    OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 Right side up monster truck pic Nice driver --- mean machine OTTUMWA --- Drivers sat at one end of their vehicles during the "pit party," meeting fans and signing autographs before the motorsport and monster truck exhibition at Bridge View Center this weekend. Monster truck driver Orville Hill let kids --- and

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 OTT Composting ethical pic Recycling in a garden OTTUMWA --- Parents will tell you: They hate to see kids waste food. A gardner named Scott Koepke feels the same way. “First, let’s get our food to people who are going to eat it,” he said. “It hurts me to see kids in the schools throw away an entire

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0412 OTT Pothole color photo -T -M [Duplicate] A bumper crop of potholes OTTUMWA — The nice weather has been putting the bad roads on display. Officials say good: It gives us a chance to fix them. “Every city is going through the same thing,” said Larry Seals, Ottumwa Public Works director. “It has been an unusual winter

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home in a tent OTTUMWA -- As people live without shelter, they become desperate finding a place to sleep. The situation impacts more than just the community's homeless. "There is nowhere to put people who are homeless," said Mary Margaret Butler. "Nowhere." Ottumwa

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Martha Speaks color photo -T -M Ottumwa children visited by cartoon star OTTUMWA — Iowa Public Television is celebrating its 45-year anniversary this year by helping communities like Ottumwa educate young children before they get into a school setting. One of the programs they are using to help reach out to children is by

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National