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Red Cross volunteers and staff serving Erie and Niagara Counties assisted 22 men, women and children left homeless Wednesday evening by fires on Summer and Orleans streets and East Morris and Evelyn avenues.

Volunteers from the Disaster Action Team began on Summer Street providing help to three people. Then they helped nine people from four families affected by a multi-unit fire on Orleans Street.

Then they headed out to East Morris to care for six people and to Evelyn Avenue for four people affected by a house fire.

With cooking problems suspected in several of the four fires, Nancy Blaschak, the Red Cross regional CEO, said residents should take extra precautions with cooking and decorating around the holidays.

“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and as people are cooking, entertaining and stringing the lights this holiday season we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure their homes and loved ones are safe from the threat of fire,” she said.