Greater Cleveland Chapter of Red Cross helps 50 people after house fires over holiday weekend

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Over the holiday weekend, the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Red Cross assisted in 11 house fires, helping out 50 people in the area.

Pamela Hillebrecht and her two kids are trying to find a new normal after losing almost everything in a house fire last week.

"Everyone got out safe, it could have been a lot worse," Hillebrecht said.

The kids were at a relatives house at the time, but Pamela tells me insulation in the attic started on fire while she and her husband were at home.

"We were downstairs watching TV for about three hours while it was smoldering.  We didn't have any clue it was going on until our electrical circuits popped," Hillebrecht said.

She said almost everything was lost in the fire

"It was devastating because we did lose most of our possessions and our house is in an unlivable state right now," she said.

She said she owes a lot to the firefighters who responded, and to the Red Cross.

"It's especially tough during a holiday weekend when you have to leave your family, your home, you lose everything you have because that's what fire does. It takes everything," Red Cross spokesman Jim McIntyre said.

"Working with the Red Cross was amazing.

In less than 12 hours they reached out," Hillebrecht said.

Hillebrecht and her family are now staying with relatives, thankful for the support.

"It's just been very unexpected. I think with the holiday season, trying to move forward into a new year while working on rebuilding. Bringing normalcy to my kids' life as quickly as possible," Hillebrecht said.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the Hillebrecht family, you can donate here.

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