Red Cross Asking for Help - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Red Cross Asking for Help

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KENNEWICK, Wash--  Two days after an early morning blaze lit up the Kamiakin Apartment Complex, investigators get an inside look.

"It's a long process," says arson detective Mike Hamilton.  "You have to go through all the debris, sift through things, collect evidence, take photographs."

A job investigators say could take up to eight hours.   They start at apartment D-105.  That's where officers believe 49-year-old Richard Hammer started the fire.

"We have a search warrant to search the apartment here in D-105 to determine the origin of the fire that happened early Saturday morning," says Hamilton.

Crews will use that information and hand it off to the prosecutor to file charges. 

While police and fire fighters search through the scorched complex, the Red Cross begins its work finding tenants a new home.

"We've responded to 25 different events in the 7 months, helping 32 families," says Debra Ticknor of the Red Cross.    

And that is a problem.

"Typically we do about 30-35 families a year, and we're only 7 months into our year," says Ticknor.

Debra Ticknor says the Red Cross has already used up almost $20,000 of its $25,000 annual direct assistance.

"It makes it a hard month when we have so many disasters, but on the flip side, that's why they're here."

And just last month they showed up to six different disasters.