An agency that’s built its reputation helping others in times of disaster now finds itself in need of a helping hand.
The American Red Cross building here was one of three buildings gutted in a fire in the downtown historical district Friday night.
The Lewis County chapter of the Red Cross lost everything, including its CPR dummies and a stockpile of disaster supplies, said spokeswoman Connie Small.
“It’s gone. All of it’s gone. It’s just overwhelming,” she told KIRO-TV in Seattle.
The Red Cross had just finished remodeling the building in March.
Gov. Gary Locke is urging Washington residents to help out the Lewis County chapter with donations, said his spokeswoman, Marylou Flynn. “The Red Cross is always there for people in need, now it’s time for citizens to help the Red Cross rebuild,” she said.
The agency moved into temporary quarters, three doors down, and was open for business Saturday.
It took firefighters more than three hours Friday to control the blaze, which also burned out Phyl’s Furniture and a bridal shop called Cupid’s Helper.
A fire official told the Centralia Chronicle on Friday that a contractor had spread hot tar on the roof in the afternoon, and that project would be investigated. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 787, Chehalis, WA 98532.
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