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Red Cross assists families after house fires

This home on 14th Street in Pawhuska is considered a total loss following a fire in the early morning hours of Friday. A family of seven was displaced.
This home on 14th Street in Pawhuska is considered a total loss following a fire in the early morning hours of Friday. A family of seven was displaced.

A pair of recent housefires have impacted families with Pawhuska ties.

Fire destroyed a house early Friday at 14th and Johnston, the Pawhuska Fire Department reported.

No one was home when the blaze was discovered around 1:30 a.m., said PFD officials. However, an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team later was dispatched from Bartlesville to assist a family of seven that had resided there. The Red Cross assisted the family members by furnishing them with food, clothing, seasonal garments and hotel lodging.

Investigation is continuing into the cause of the fire, the officials said.

A week earlier, another house fire burned out a Pawhuska family who recently had moved to rural Montgomery County, Kan. That Dec. 20 blaze was discovered around 6 p.m. after a second-floor smoke alarm sounded at the farmhouse, which was occupied by the family of Pawhuskan Louis Gray Jr. as well as his in-laws, who owned the home.

Gray and his family had moved from Pawhuska three months ago in connection with his working on the Flanagan South oil pipeline.

One of the residents sustained burns from battling the flames, which destroyed the home and nearly all its contents.

The family’s pet cat perished in the blaze, which came just five days before Christmas and cast a pall over the holiday.

In that case, Red Cross officials gave the families a $900 check to aid in the recovery from their devastating losses.

Also, a fund has been established at giveitforward.com and donations can be made under the Louis Gray Jr. Fire Fund.

The Marines Corps League of Osage County is sponsoring a separate drive for the families. Persons who are interested in helping with that effort should call Commandant John Henry Mashunkashey at 918-636-7742.

Red Cross teams respond to single-family disasters and large-scale emergencies, regardless of the time of day/night or the weather conditions.

“They know that the worse the conditions are, the worse the victims of a disaster need help,” an American Red Cross spokesperson said. “The Red Cross never charges a disaster victim. All disaster relief work is supported by local donors who give…in order to help their neighbors.

More information about Red Cross-provided services and resources can be obtained by visiting the worldwide website: okredcross.org or by calling Jeanice Robertson-Young, director of the Nowata, Osage, and Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, at 918-336-2216.

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