Red Cross asks for donations to help Patten Tower residents - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Red Cross asks for donations to help Patten Tower residents

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Two temporary shelters are packed with people, after a fire forced the evacuation of a downtown Chattanooga Apartment.

Patten Towers caught fire around Tuesday evening.

Fire officials say the fire started in the basement of the 11-story building.

It could be a week before the electrical problems are fixed, the power restored, and residents are allowed to return to their homes.

In the meantime, the local chapter of the American Red Cross is providing shelter, food, medication, and emotional support.

"The fire department beat on the door and told me to get my things," said Veronica Holiday, one of 250 Patten Towers residents displaced by the fire.

"It was a rough day, real rough," she told Channel 3 outside the shelter at the Brainerd Recreation Center.

Wednesday night about 190 of those residents were expected to spend the night in one of two shelters set up by the American Red Cross.

"Just making sure that we're keeping them comfortable is our ultimate goal," said Greg Waite, Community Chapter Executive.

The local chapter responds to one disaster a day on average.

Most of those disasters are single family house fires.

This mission is much larger.

"The level of service that we are delivering is the exact same, this is just 250 times the size," described Waite.

Waite says it's too soon to tell exactly how much the shelters will cost the agency that relies solely on donations.

"It's probably going to be in the tens of thousands of dollars just for the simple fact of this could be an operation that goes five to seven days," he told Channel 3.

Waite says it's a strain on the chapter's local disaster fund.

The agency is asking for donations.

Donors can choose for their dollars to stay local.

"If somebody calls in, even if they write it in the memo of their check, we will honor that and we want to try to make sure those dollars are delivered in that instance," he said.

It's not just monetary donations, Waite says the chapter is in need of trained medical professionals too.

A team of three was on hand to see to the needs of Patten Tower residents.

"If you're a nurse out there and you are looking for some way to give back," he said, "we're always looking for nurses, LPN's, CNA's, even EMT's.

If you'd like to donate you can go to RedCross.org or call the local branch at 423-265-3455.

Read More:

- Chattanooga firefighters face several challenges with Patten Towers fire

- Hundreds displaced by Patten Tower fire

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