Displaced Dover apartment residents receive Red Cross assistance

DOVER — On Thursday, the American Red Cross of Delmarva continued to assist 10 residents displaced by an apartment complex explosion and fire two days earlier.

According to Red Cross Executive Director Theresa Young, nine Alder Park Apartments units were affected by the incident just after noon on Tuesday in south Dover, including one that was empty.

Thus, the Red Cross provided lodging to those displaced from the building, which was closed by Kent County Levy Court pending an electrical system inspection. Two apartments were deemed uninhabitable.

An unidentified 41-year-old man was severely burned during the explosion and fire in his second floor apartment, and three residents needed rescue from the unit above. One person suffered minor injuries that did not require transport to a hospital.

Ms. Young said the damaged building’s residents were provided local lodging, along with a comfort kit and clothes for the night if needed.

Two Red Cross volunteers and a staff member responded to Alder Park at 51 Webbs Lane in the short aftermath of the blast.

The comfort kit included a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and a blanket, along with a stuffed animal if a child was involved. Food and water were also made available.

Mental health professionals and case workers were provided to the residents to address their immediate needs, along with finding long-term solutions that may include help from the community, apartment complex and insurance coverage.

“Our goal is to cover about a three-day window and then hope that the community steps forward, or the landlord or insurance,” Ms. Young said.

The American Red Cross of Delmarva averages over one fire call a day, according to Ms. Young, and helps by providing lodging or facilitating moves to available family member homes.

Within two hours of leaving Dover on Tuesday, the Red Cross was called to an incident in Newark.

In the event of more than 30 persons without somewhere to stay, the Red Cross will open a shelter.

While Ms. Young said residents are generally appreciative of ARC’S assistance, “we need to remember there’s a lot going on in their lives at the time and the help might not be fully understood until later when their situations have stabilized.”

No cause or origin of the blast was disclosed by Thursday afternoon, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal said an announcement will be made after investigation is complete.

The critically injured victim was hospitalized at the Crozer Burn Center in Chester area Upland, Pennsylvania.

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