Tuesday, April 17, 2012

“I thank the Red Cross for their availability during this crisis.”

James Clark, Grandview Palace resident
Retired businessman James Clark had just returned to his home at the Grandview Palace condominiums in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., after a trip to the west coast when the fire alarm went off on April 14.

“It has gone off before so I chose to ignore it,” he said.

Moments later, someone started to pound on Clark’s door, telling him to get out. He grabbed a sweater and ran out.

“The fire was so threatening,” he said. “You could hear the structure collapsing. It was disorienting to see the buildings consumed by the fire and the intensity of the fire. It was a horrific experience.”

The fire destroyed Clark’s home, as well as close to 400 other units in the condo complex.

Clark came to the Red Cross shelter at Sullivan County Community College for help with the paperwork he needed to complete in the wake of the fire.

“I thank the Red Cross for their presence,” he said. “For the help with all the forms I had to fill out, the fact that there’s food available … that’s very helpful, especially when you’ve lost everything.”

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