Survivors of Mandan apartment fire donate trailer to ND Lions Emergency Relief organization

Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - After two devastating apartment fires over the past two years in Mandan and dozens of other fires across the Bismarck-Mandan area, the North Dakota Lions Emergency Relief can now respond to a larger area.

We first met Patty Barrette in July 2019 when dozens of residents were displaced by an apartment fire in Mandan. That’s where the idea for a mobile disaster unit began. When another building burned down in the same apartment complex in 2020, Patty and her team knew it was time to act.

The Mandan Lions club partnered with Barrette’s non-profit formerly known as the Mandan Fire Relief, to create the ND Lions Emergency Relief. The entire operation was run out of her garage and warehouse. One resident in the Sunset Bluffs fire donated a trailer, allowing people to get help faster.

“Our idea is that we’re all trying to help the victims get through things and we all have our own little piece that we do, so whatever we can do to support,” said Barrette.

Barrette wants emergency coordinators to connect with their non-profit before a disaster strikes so they can better understand the community’s needs.

Barrette said the next step is decorating the trailer with sponsor logos. She estimates the organization has helped more than 100 people over the past two years.

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