Volunteers with the American Red Cross are helping at least 25 people after an apartment fire at Gleneagle Apartments, 601 Saint Andrews Road in Columbia December 13. At least eight units at the apartment complex were destroyed by the fire.

The Red Cross of South Carolina Disaster Action Team members responded to provide the affected people with financial assistance for immediate needs like shelter, food, and clothes to the families impacted.

“As our teams work with the families impacted, we are certainly thinking about them and want to provide all the support we can,” said Rebecca Jordan, the Executive Director of the Central Chapter. “This is another sad reminder that fires can happen anywhere at any time, and we must always be prepared for such disasters. As temperatures start to drop, we encourage families to practice their home fire safety plan and test their smoke alarms.”

In addition to immediate needs, Red Cross team members are providing virtual mental and spiritual care assistance to anyone that may need it. The Red Cross will continue to stay in contact with its partners to see if any additional assistance is needed.

The Red Cross of South Carolina responds to 32 percent more home fires a month in winter than in warmer seasons. When heating your home, remember that space heaters need just that: space. Be sure they are three feet away from anything that can burn: furniture, bedding carpets, rugs, and curtains. Make sure the space heater is off and unplugged before leaving a room or falling asleep. It is important to plug the space heater directly into an outlet and not an extension cord. Before you plug it in, inspect the power cord before each use. If the cord is worn, broken or loose have the appliance professionally repaired or replace it.

The American Red Cross of South Carolina responds to six home fires every day on average, and in many cases, the families impacted lose everything. Help families get back on their feet by giving the gift of a second chance. Gifts from local “Hometown Heroes” provide financial assistance so families can pay for their immediate needs such as food, clothes, personal care items, and a safe place to stay. Become a Hometown Hero by visiting www.redcross.org/HometownHero.

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