Local chapters of the American Red Cross could find themselves scraping bottom after their funds were dried up by several fires.
The Sandusky River Chapter of the Red Cross, which oversees Sandusky County, has dealt with 22 fires since July 1, the start of its fiscal year.
Sandusky County had 20 fires for the entire 2006-2007 fiscal year, said John Bailey, executive director of the Sandusky River Chapter.
Bailey said the chapter is bracing itself because the cold season -- January, February and March -- typically coincides with fire season. People try to heat their homes using alternative methods like wood burners and space heaters, which can sometimes lead to accidental fires, he said.
"This is really unusual because our fires started in July, and it's been very steady ever since," Bailey said. "It's just a little scary with a lot of cold weather ahead of us yet."
American Red Cross chapters
300 Central Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870
Sandusky River Chapter
1245 Napoleon St., Fremont, OH 43420
Greater Toledo Chapter
3100 W. Central Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43606
419-329-2900 or 888-590-0098
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