On this Thursday edition of the Jasen Sokol Show, Jim McIntyre of the American Red Cross speaks with Jasen on the fatal fire in Kenmore and emergency assistance (00:18), State Representative Thomas West talks about legislation on infant mortality (10:02), and PGA Pro Joe Leenheer offers up some golf tips (17:00).
Update from the Red Cross Northeast Ohio Division:
The American Red Cross is preparing to assist up to 100,000 people in North and South Carolina and Virginia as Hurricane Florence nears the east coast.
More than 1,600 people spent the night Tuesday in 36 Red Cross and community shelters in South Carolina and North Carolina.
More than 1,500 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground, including 16 from Northeast Ohio. 14 of the Northeast Ohio workers are volunteers. Most are shelter workers.
Additional Red Cross volunteers from Northeast Ohio are standing by, waiting to be assigned to the disaster relief operation.
Anyone interested in volunteering can visit redcross.org/neo, and click the volunteer tab.
Northeast Ohio American Red Cross volunteers are heading to North Carolina ahead of what could be one of the most devastating storms to ever hit the Carolinas.
As of Tuesday morning, Hurricane Florence was a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour, with gusts registering up to 140 mph.
The National Hurricane Center out of Miami has issued Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches Tuesday for the entire East Coast of the Unitest States, as Florence continues on a crash course with North Carolina. The storm is expected to make landfall, as a Category 4 Hurricane some time Thursday night into Friday morning. More than 1,000,000 residents of the East Coast have been told to evacuate.
Meanwhile, relief efforts are ramping up. Jim McIntyre with the American Red Cross, Northeast Ohio Region, tells our WAKR Newsroom that a group of 9 volunteers are on their way, as of Tuesday afternoon, to North Carolina. "Most volunteers are told to be prepared to be deployed for up to two weeks," McIntyre said, "in order to help provide continuity for the residents who are displaced and may have to hunker down in a shelter."
As with any storm or natural disaster, a lot of uncertainty as to the exact path Florence will take, but McIntyre says that's what the Red Cross prepares for: "What we're trying to is to be prepared for any eventuality; and our volunteers are trained to be flexible, to fulfill the mission they've signed up for, but also to know that they may be called to do something that they didn't sign up to do."
Click here to find out more how you can help the American Red Cross.
UPDATED 4:50 a.m. The victims of Saturday's fire that left four dead and two injured were identified by their pastor. Rev. Zach Prosser of Celebration Church in Akron told Cleveland.com the adults are Omar Riley and Shirley Wallis, who had been together for 12 years. Their daughters, nine year old Aniyla and and eight year old Shanice, also perished in the blaze. Prosser identified the 12-year old victim as Wallis' daughter Shaniya, who was listed in critical condition at Akron Children's Hospital.
Another victim, Jennifer Grubbs, was also injured when she jumped out of the attic from the flames according to her fiancee. He was not in the home at the time of the fire. The flames first showed in the back of the house according to a neighbor's home security camera video, according to reports.
An early morning Saturday blaze left four people dead, two injured. The Akron Fire Department reports the house fire at 266 East Tallmadge Avenue was "heavily involved" when they arrived about five minutes after the call at 1:33 a.m. Arriving firefighters were able to pull five of the six victims from the home. Among the dead are an eight and nine year old; News5 reports a 12-year old jumped from a second floor window to escape the flames and is in critical condition. An adult was also pulled from the home and was also injured.
Video from the scene is at the News5 link above
Names and other details of the victims were not released. There is no cause of the blaze at this time.
No smoke detectors were found in the home, which reportedly was a rental property. The American Red Cross is reminding area residents smoke detectors are free throughout northeast Ohio, and the Akron Fire Department provides free installation in partnership with the Red Cross. Mayor Dan Horrigan said he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy...and will see to it hat the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need."
The children were enrolled in Akron Public Schools, one at Seiberling Elementary and another at Forest Hills Elementary. The 12-year old is a student at Hyre Middle School. APS spokesman Mark Williamson said ""Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."
There was also reaction from LeBron James and the LeBron James Family Foundation; the children were members of his Wheels for Education program. James tweeted he was "unbelievably saddened to hear the news. My heart hurts...our family lost two bright, bright stars."
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(Akron Fire Department) Firefighters responded to a two and a half story residential house fire. Upon arrival the first floor was heavily involved in smoke and flames. People were reported to be trapped inside so an immediate interior fire attack was taken for rescue. The call came in at 01:33 and by 01:38 the first Engine was on scene.
Through the heavy heat and smoke (no visibility) 5 of the 6 victims were pulled from the house within the first few minutes of arrival. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it was noted that smoke detectors could not be located throughout the house.
The fire caused four fatalilties. Two adults and two children, 8 and 9 year old. Two other victims were transported and are still ithe hospital. Unknown condition at the time of this press release. Names, relationships, and genders were not given while investigation is on going. One firefighter was transported for minor injuries and released.
(American Red Cross) We are deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from a home fire in Akron early Saturday morning. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy.
The Red Cross partners with many Fire Departments in Northeast Ohio, including the Akron Fire Department, to provide and install smoke alarms, free of charge, to any resident who requests the alarms. We also provide valuable fire safety information, and help residents develop plans to escape from their homes should a fire occur. The initiative is call Operation Save-A-Life.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan helped launch Operation Save-a-Life at a home in Akron earlier this year.
Akron residents can call 330-535-2030 to request a home fire safety inspection and free smoke alarms. In Cleveland, residents can call 216-361-5535. Youngstown residents may call 866-319-7160. Elsewhere
throughout Northeast Ohio, residents can log onto redcross.org/neo to request smoke alarms for their homes.
We are grateful for our partnerships with so many fire departments, corporations and community groups for helping to provide this valuable, potentially life-saving service, and we urge all residents to check their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers or website above if they need smoke alarms for their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers above.
(City of Akron) Early this morning the Akron Fire Department responded to an advanced-stage fire in a three-story house on East Tallmadge Avenue.
The Fire Department acted quickly to extinguish the flames and rescue the individuals inside. Tragically, two adults and two children lost their lives in the fire. One adult and one child have survived and are being treated for their injuries.
"My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devastating incident. Any time our community experiences a loss such as this, it reminds us how precious life is," said Mayor Dan Horrigan. 'My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family members of those who lost their lives, as we continue to pray for strength and healing for the survivors being treated. We will see to it that the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need.
There is no higher duty we have as city leaders than to protect the health and safety of our residents and I thank the Akron Fire Department for their bravery in responding to this fire and for their attempts to rescue those trapped inside. I offer my full support and confidence as the professionals work to investigate the cause of this fire."
(Akron Public Schools) "Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."
Independence Day weekend may have been relaxing for you -- but for thousands in West Virginia, it was just another three days of cleaning up and trying to rebuild after the massive flooding two weeks ago.
The American Red Cross' communications director Mary Williams among the more than 600 volunteers who went to the Mountain State, including a contingent from here in Northeast Ohio. Along with Williams the regional CEO for the Red Cross, Mike Parks, also volunteered his holiday weekend.
Williams say there were many sights and stories that hit hard; in one case, a woman told her she and her children were stranded above the rising waters on the roof of their home. Her husband was able to get to her and rescue them; Williams say the woman told her she never loved her husband more than at that moment. In Richwood, the home of the annual Cherry River Festival and well-known for it's springtime Ramp Festival, the river literally ran through the middle of the quain town and left it looking "...like a movie western: empty storefronts with nothing but all of the dust from the dried mud left behind," Williams said.
The spirit not only of the West Virginians without homes or jobs is one of resilience and courage, Williams said, adding many of the volunteers this weekend came as far away as California.
The need now is for financial assistance -- you can give on-line to the Red Cross at RedCross.O-R-G, and choosing West Virginia flooding on the dropdown menu. You can also give by texting "WVfloods" to 9-0-999 or you can all 1-800-RED-CROSS to donate by phone.