An early-morning fire in an assisted-living complex has brought a number of Albion residents to campus, as Albion College joins the City of Albion and the Calhoun County Red Cross with disaster relief. In the early hours of August 14, Albion College Campus Safety began transporting residents of Albion’s Maple Grove apartments to Baldwin Hall, which was opened to feed and shelter the senior-citizen evacuees.

“It’s a very fluid situation right now,” said Cliff Conklin, Disaster Action Team member of the Calhoun Chapter of the Red Cross. Conklin noted that as of noon on August 14, the Red Cross had determined that approximately 30 of the evacuees at Albion College were in need of emergency housing assistance, with many more evacuees to interview.

The College has also offered its Munger Place apartment annex for emergency housing. While parts of the 101-unit Maple Grove apartments were completely destroyed, some sections sustained only smoke damage and are expected to pass Albion’s safety inspections in the near future.

“Albion College has been fantastic. They’re helping with housing, feeding, communications, computers.” Conklin noted. “We’re very happy Albion College has been here for us and the community. People have been impressed with their generosity and the spirit of Albion College.”

Albion Interfaith Ministries (AIM) is accepting donations of clothing, food, toiletries, etc., for the fire victims. Donations may be dropped off at AIM, 118 W. Porter in Albion, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. M-F and on Saturday, August 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To donate furniture, please call AIM at 517/629-5260. AIM is not accepting furniture at its Porter Street location, but is coordinating local churches, who will accept and store the furniture.

Monetary donations can be made via credit card by calling the American Red Cross Calhoun County Chapter at 269/962-7528. Checks should be made payable to American Red Cross Calhoun County Chapter and marked for “local disaster relief.” Mail checks to 14600 Beadle Lake Road, Battle Creek, MI, 49014, or drop off at the Red Cross reception station at Baldwin Hall on the Albion College campus.