The courier » updated 10_15 p. m._ red cross, humane society assisting 11 families displaced by fire

One cat and four dogs are being housed at the humane society until their owners are able to find long-term housing, said Dana Berger, chief animal control officer for the county. “I was trying to mentally prepare myself,” she said. “All I could think about was losing all (my daughter’s) baby pictures and clothes.” “(Officials) told us we’d be back in a few hours once the smoke cleared,” he said. “I left my work badge in the apartment and I have to work tomorrow.” allisonreamer@thecourier.

com “I’m just worried,” Joshua Hatlay said. “I don’t even know what the damage is. I just feel worried and I don’t know what to expect.”

“They’re a little stressed but they’re in good shape,” Berger said. Courier reporter Max Filby contributed to this story. Among the other evacuees is the Hatlay family, who live in an apartment next to the Gibbs building at 215 N. Main St. The family of five, consisting of 12-year-old and 13-year-old girls, a 14-year-old boy and their parents, was home when the fire began and were observing the scene next door when they were evacuated around 8:30 p. m. Friday. “I think the biggest thing is, there were no fatalities and no injuries,” he said. The animals are doing well and are showing no signs that the heat or smoke harmed them, Berger said. “There’s a lot of hope. The Red Cross will help re-establish that hope,” he said. The Hancock County Humane Society is also providing shelter for displaced pets, Coots said. “I called my mom and asked her to drive by to see if it was something I needed to come home for, since my apartment is right above,” Bishop said. None of the animals was injured. Three dogs were taken by their owners from the building, while firefighters rescued the cat and the fourth dog, Berger said. The American Red Cross is helping 11 families, totaling 28 people, who lost their homes Friday when fire destroyed a business and apartment building on Findlay’s North Main Street.

“We give people a chance to get set up and then get reunited with their animals,” Berger said. “The smoke was so bad, you could barely see in there,” said Morgan Hatlay, 12. “It makes me feel super-thankful,” Bishop said. “People that I don’t even know and are willing to help out, not only with cash donations, but with clothes and furniture. It’s been nice and super-helpful.” She was on her way to work Friday when a family member notified her of the fire, which at the time was believed to be at the pawn shop, Bishop said. Joshua Hatlay, the father of the family, said Saturday he thought he and his family would be able to get back into their home soon. A Go Fund Me page has also been set up to help the mother and daughter. The humane society is housing the displaced pets at no cost to the owners, Berger said. “You could tell it was my apartment,” she said. The Red Cross is providing assistance to a total of 28 people, said Steven Coots, disaster program specialist.

Apartment residents met with caseworkers Saturday morning who assessed their immediate needs and provided assistance with food, clothing, medication and other essentials, he said. Though it is a difficult time for multiple families, Coots said there is still a feeling of hope for many. The family is receiving assistance from the Red Cross and will be staying in a motel. Before her mother could call her back, her aunt sent her photos of the burning building.

The family anticipates water and smoke damage in their apartment. “Being an apartment fire, it gets challenging because of the amount of people, but the way the Red Cross is structured, partnering with the community, we’re able to provide a better and fast recovery process,” Coots said. “It’s just one step at a time, I guess.” The Red Cross opened an emergency shelter for the apartment residents at 50 North, 339 E. Melrose Ave., and 14 people stayed at the shelter Friday night, the agency said. The shelter closed Saturday.

Twitter: @CourierAllison Comments Several organizations have donated food to the victims, he said. The fire broke out around 6:22 p. m. Friday in apartments at 223½ N. Main St. The fire then spread to addresses from 217 to 227 N. Main. By ALLISON REAMER Staff Writer Reamer: 419-427-8497 She continues to tell herself that it’s important that she and her daughter are safe. Brandi Bishop, 25, and her 1-year-old daughter lived in one of the apartments above the Star Pawn Shop, 225 N. Main St. Bishop is receiving assistance from the Red Cross and has also received help from the Fire Relief Foundation, Findlay. Bishop, who works as a nurse, left work and went to the scene.

https://www. gofundme. com/ntkvqa8c