The American Red Cross, Office of State Fire Marshal, SC Firefighters Association, and local partners announced today that 20 lives have been saved through the efforts of the Home Fire Campaign in South Carolina. Two lives of the lives saved were in a home on Alabama Avenue in North Charleston.
“Scariest thing is to think about what could have happened,” said Vincent Mosby, who lived in a home protected by smoke alarms. “Without the alarms we could have died.”
On December 28, 2016, Mosby and his fiancée, Brittany Nelson, were home packing the last of their household for their move to Georgia the next day. The children were staying the family members as they made the last minute preparations for their impending move. When cooking dinner, food on the stove was left unattended, causing a grease fire to break out in their kitchen. The smoke alarms installed by the Red Cross and North Charleston Fire Department sounded, alerting them to the fire and enabling them to safely get out of the house and call 9-1-1. While the kitchen was damaged in the fire, Mosby and Nelson have their lives because of their quick thinking and home fire safety knowledge.
“The only reason that it [the smoke alarm] went off is because you guys put it in,” Nelson told representatives from the fire department and the Red Cross.
The smoke alarms in their home were installed by the Red Cross and North Charleston Fire Department on May 14, 2016. This neighborhood is in a census tract that the Red Cross identified as being the 16th highest in risk in SC for home fire injuries or death. During the course of two smoke alarm blitzes in the Waylan subdivision in North Charleston last spring, volunteers from the Red Cross and firefighters from North Charleston Fire Department installed more than 660 smoke alarms, protecting nearly 700 residents. They spoke with families about creating escape plans and making sure that the entire family would know what to do should a fire start in the home.
“Home fires continue to be the largest disaster facing families in South Carolina,” said Louise Welch Williams, CEO for the Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross. “Having a working smoke alarm nearly doubles your chances of surviving a home fire. We are already seeing the impact of the home fire campaign, saving lives right here in the Lowcountry.”
Since the start of the Home Fire Campaign, more than 35,000 smoke alarms have been installed in South Carolina by Red Cross and its partners, protecting more than 10,000 families, more than 2,300 of these in the Lowcountry.
Because of the hard work of the Red Cross and its partners, lives have also been saved in Myrtle Beach, Kershaw, Dalzell, and Greenville.
Nelson is just glad that it was not as bad as it could have been, saying that “We are going to be ok.”
To learn more about the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, visit www.redcross.org/sc.