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Evacuated family has baby boy

Tamie Meck

One of the people displaced by the Coal Seam Fire has been crying and fussing day and night.

Little Tristan Moore hadn’t even entered the world yet when his parents, Claudia and Brandon Moore, were forced to evacuate their West Glenwood home Saturday night.

Claudia Moore, upset by the fire, began experiencing contractions Saturday evening. Tristan was delivered by Caesarean section Wednesday at Valley View Hospital. He weighed 8 pounds, 14 ounces.

“He was four days early,” said Claudia, sitting on her hospital bed while a nurse tended Tristan. Other than a case of jaundice, Tristan is in fine health.

The Moore family had been staying in one of the dormitories at the American Red Cross Relocation Center at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley. Claudia left her home around noon Saturday, and watched the smoke billow and the fire race toward her home from Wal-Mart. She wanted to go home, but her husband told her the neighborhood was being evacuated.

“I couldn’t go home,” she said. That’s about when the contractions started.

The family checked into the relocation center Sunday. Since Claudia was nine months pregnant, the family was able to stay in a campus dormitory.

But the contractions just wouldn’t stop. Moore was scheduled to have a c-section late this week, but Tristan wouldn’t wait.

“This is the first time that I’ve had a baby born from the shelter where I was working,” said five-year American Red Cross veteran Joyce Foster. Foster is the emergency services public affairs representative assigned to the Coal Seam Fire by the Red Cross.

The Moore family is one of about 65 cases that has been opened by the Red Cross as a result of the fire. When there is a disaster, explained Red Cross spokesman Francisco Gonima, the Red Cross makes what resources it has available, then coordinates with area agencies and organizations to see that information on other resources is disseminated.

In the case of the Moore family, they needed a private room, clothing, and food. Before mother and son can go home, the house where Claudia and Tristan will be staying needs to be cleaned from smoke damage.

Foster, wondering which cleaning service to contact, went to lunch Friday at Taco Bell with another volunteer. While they were eating, she said, a gentleman approached them and asked, “Do you need someone’s house cleaned?”

He didn’t ask if they needed help, said Foster, he asked a specific question.

The chance meeting resulted in volunteers from a Mennonite Church organization in Delta traveling to Glenwood Springs to clean the home.

“Local communities usually encircle each other” in disasters, said Foster, who wasn’t surprised by the offer. When someone needs something, it’s usually there. “And that’s how the Red Cross works,” said Foster with a wave of her hand.

Word of the birth spread quickly through the Red Cross system.

Friday afternoon, a bouquet of flowers, donated by Flowers-n-Such, arrived for the new mother. Moore added it to the flowers and balloons she received from her husband and other family members.

One of her biggest concerns, said Moore, who works for the Family Visitor Program, is that she had just filled her freezer with food. But power to West Glenwood was cut off and it was all spoiled.

“Make sure you report that to the Red Cross,” Foster told her. “We’ll get it replaced.”


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