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Red Cross Responds to Two Fires in Columbia Today

COLUMBIA, S.C., Thursday, Jan. 9 – The American Red Cross Central SC chapter responded to two home fires in Columbia today providing disaster relief assistance to the displaced nine children and eight adults. The Red Cross provided comfort kits which included personal hygiene items, and lodging and funds for food, along with referrals to local partnering agencies.
With the extreme cold temperatures this week heating systems are running at full force and people may resort to other sources to keep their homes warm. To avoid fire danger, you should remember the following:

•         Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
•         If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
•         If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
•         Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
•         Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

It takes an average $1,250 for Red Cross to support a family of four impacted by fire. There are a number of ways to donate to the Red Cross. Please call the Central SC Chapter offices at 803-540-1200 or donations may also be mailed to the American Red Cross Central SC Chapter at P.O. Box 91 Columbia, SC 29202.  As always people can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit

Because of trained disaster volunteers and financial assistance from the community, the American Red Cross Palmetto SC Region has been able to assist more than 700 families and 2,400 individuals who have been affected by disaster since July 1, 2013. On average, the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region responds to a disaster every 6.5 hours.  The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross chapters spanning 35-counties of South Carolina.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.  For more information, please visit