Red Cross aids 11 left homeless in fire

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ROCKINGHAM — The American Red Cross is assisting close to a dozen people who were left homeless after Tuesday's fire in Rockingham.

Ann Kim, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said Wednesday that the Red Cross is working to help 11 people after the fire. Kim said because of confidentiality, she couldn't confirm the identity of the people involved.

The extended Brough family, who lives at 25 Colburn Hill Road, a private dirt road off Hines Road in the Parker Hill section of Rockingham, lost their home in a two-alarm fire Tuesday afternoon. Kimberly Brough was home with four children at the time of the fire, and she suspects the fire started after she was cooking chicken on a grill on their outside porch. No one was hurt in the fire, as Brough and the four children were able to safely escape and call for help.

At that time, Kimberly and her husband Stephan said eight people lived at the house, including Stephan's parents, who owned the house.

But in a posting on social media, Stephan Brough said 12 people lived at the home, including a total of five children. He has started a fundraiser for his parents, Diana and Christopher Brough, who built the home themselves 17 years ago.

Stephan Brough couldn't be reached on Wednesday, but in a posting he asked for diapers, baby wipes, formula, and sippy cups, and said they already had clothing.

Ann Kim said the Red Cross did not respond to the scene on Tuesday, but it made a "virtual" connection with the people left homeless because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

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She said the Red Cross is working to meet the family's immediate needs, including "a safe place to stay, clothing, and food." She said the Red Cross also helps fire victims to replace such items as lost medical prescriptions and eyeglasses, as well as providing emotional support.

She said the Red Cross has caseworkers to help people "get back on their feet" after such a catastrophe, and to make sure that their urgent needs are met.

"We are doing a virtual response, we're doing it electronically and on the phone or by computer," she said.

Kim said the Red Cross cannot do fundraising for individual people, although it would accept financial donations which in turn help people in need. "We can't do it for specific people," she said.

Bellows Falls Fire Chief Shaun McGinnis, who was at the scene Tuesday, said he isn't aware of an organized effort to help the Brough family, but said individuals are helping.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or at 802 556-2147.

Related coverage: Rockingham fire leaves families homeless


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