Red Cross duped by Summerside woman
The Red Cross is not planning to prosecute a woman who got a few hundred dollars from the agency by falsely claiming fire damaged her Summerside home, a spokesman said.
But after the experience Friday, volunteers will be trained to check claims more carefully, Dan Bedell said.
The agency got a call from a woman Friday saying she needed help, so volunteers checked her house. They could smell smoke, but didn't see any damage. The woman said her family of six was at a neighbour's at the time.
The house smelled smokey, but the volunteers were told fire had occurred several hours earlier and was confined. "And they don't go looking through somebody's home to actually find the fire scene. They tend to take people at their word," Bedell said.
The woman was given vouchers for food and clothing, but the Red Cross later discovered she lives alone, and no fire was reported to the fire department.
Bedell said in the future, volunteers will be trained to confirm a fire with fire officials.