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SAFD program helps fire victims recover

'Banker boxes' include amenities, toiletries for victims

SAN ANTONIO – Losing most -- if not all -- of your belongings to fire can be tragic.

That's why the San Antonio Fire Department and Baptist Health Systems are doing their part to help fire victims make it through that difficult time.

SAFD's "After the Fire" program is designed to help victims get back on their feet.

The program includes giving fire victims a large cardboard box -- called a "banker box" -- filled with amenities like a robe, slippers, and toiletries.

"When people have a house fire, a lot of times, they run out of the house and they don't have time to put shoes on," said SAFD Chief Charles Hood. "They don't have time to put clothing on."

Hood said its providing a better service for fire victims in their time of need.

"We arrive a lot of times (and) we see our citizens standing on broken glass, standing on a hot surface, standing on a cold sidewalk in the middle of the night with no clothing, so each one of our battalion vehicles will have with them a banker box," said Hood.

Hood as recently as Father's Day, nearly a dozen families lost their homes in a three-alarm apartment fire. He said each banker box not only has things that people will immediately find comfort in, but also important phone numbers to get help.

"Our job is not done until after our citizens are taken care of, placed in a facility or some place that's going to take care of their well-being until they can recover from a devastating fire," said Hood.