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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- The Red Cross in Maine is feeling the strain of helping people driven out of their homes by fires this winter.

The Red Cross has three chapters across the state. They all provide lodging, food, clothing and other help to Mainers displaced by fire.

The cold weather this winter has led to more fires than usual, particularly in wood and pellet stoves. Directors of the Red Cross said also when fires strike large buildings, the burdens on their resourcesincrease substantially.

"It's much easier for a neighbor to help a neighbor out when it's a specific fire in a single house," said Patricia Murtagh, who is the regional C.E.O. for the Red Cross in Maine, "but when it's an apartment building or a multi unit building..most of the neighbors themselves have been impacted by the incident."

The Red Cross said its resources were badly strained last winter, in large part because of the huge apartment fires in downtown Lewiston.

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