Red Cross takes different approach to helping 50 people displaced by fire in Myrtle Beach area

Due to the Coronavirus, the Red Cross had to alter its approach to providing aide during the Claypond Commons fire.

Red Cross takes different approach to helping 50 people displaced by fire in Myrtle Beach area

HORRY COUNTY, SC. (WMBF) - The Red Cross is helping more than 50 people who were affected by a fire Monday night at Claypond Commons.

But the coronavirus pandemic, along with the governor’s “Home or Work” order, has changed the way they are bringing aid to those impacted.

Kevin Delcastillo was shocked when he saw that a good portion of his building at Claypond Commons was in flames.

“I was driving to go get some food, and my girlfriend called me to tell me there was a fire," said Delcastillo "So, I took a U-turn and came back to see this whole thing was gone.”

Delcastillo said he’s been practicing social distancing and staying at home as much as he can, but now he can’t stay at his apartment for a few days until the power is restored.

“I’m luckily staying with my mom so I don’t have to be around a lot of people at this time,” said Delcastillo.

While social distancing is still on Delcastillo’s mind despite the fire, it’s also still something the Red Cross has to take into consideration while helping the more than 50 people who were forced from their homes.

“With a number that big with people displaced, what we would usually do is open a shelter, but in this case because of the issue with the outbreak of the coronavirus, that’s not the best option for us at this time,” said Red Cross Director of Communications for the Palmetto, South Carolina Region Ben Williamson.

Instead, the Red Cross is providing financial assistance so people can find a place to stay.

The fire also affected the way the Red Cross went about handling the fire as it was going on.

“We also had at least eight other volunteers that were responding virtually trying to make sure that we social distance as best we can while continuing our mission," said Williamson.

Although more than four dozen people are having to figure out their living situation, some more temporarily than others, no one was hurt in the fire.

The cause is still under investigation.

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