ADRA assists following Bankstown fire

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Wahroonga, New South Wales

Following the tragic fire that ripped through an apartment block in Sydney’s west last week, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia assisted residents not allowed to re-enter their homes.

But our systems all worked and everyone needing accommodation was provided for.

“After getting the call from the Department of Family and Community Services, I raced to assist those left without a place to stay,” said ADRA Volunteer, Kevin Munro. “I had none of the normal ADRA kit with me. Fortunately I had just saved the latest forms on to my laptop and could take that with me.”

Thanks to Kevin’s work and the support of Department of Family and Community Services and Police staff, 68 people, including 18 children were provided with emergency accommodation.

“It was certainly a stressful situation – something very different to our normal activity during floods and fires,” said Mr Munro. “But our systems all worked and everyone needing accommodation was provided for; which is the most important thing.” 

Residents of the 144 units in the block will not be allowed to return until safety concerns have been addressed by NSW Fire and Rescue. ADRA, under its arrangement with the Department of Family and Community Services, will ensure accommodation is available until that time arrives.

“ADRA Australia holds formal agreements to provide short to medium-term emergency accommodation during times of disaster,” said Ashleigh Plimmer, Emergency Management Co-ordinator for ADRA Australia. “Across the state, more than 500 trained ADRA volunteers are on stand-by around the clock.”

Similar agreements are also held in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

ADRA Australia is a Christian humanitarian agency that implements a wide range of community development and disaster response programs both here in Australia and overseas. ADRA Australia works with people in poverty and distress to create just and positive change through empowering partnerships and responsible action.

For more information visit www.adra.org.au or connect at www.facebook.com/ADRAustralia.