Red Cross helps 2 N. Charleston families after fires, warn or fire risk

Thanksgiving is ‘peak day’ for house fires
Red Cross volunteers are helping eight people displaced by a fire on Butler Street and four...
Red Cross volunteers are helping eight people displaced by a fire on Butler Street and four others displaced by a fire on Oregon Avenue in North Charleston.(Live 5/File)
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 9:28 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2022 at 10:19 AM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The American Red Cross responded Friday night to help families after a pair of house fires.

One fire broke out at a home on Butler Street and a second was at a home on Oregon Avenue, Red Cross spokesman Don Gazzale said.

Disaster volunteers are assisting a total of 12 people displaced by the fires by providing financial help for immediate needs like food, clothing, and shelter, he said.

Red Cross of South Carolina CEO Rod Tolbert says home fires are a real threat over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“In particular, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires, and year after year, Thanksgiving is the peak day for these tragedies,” he said. “We at the Red Cross are urging families to follow cooking safety steps to help prevent your holiday celebrations from going up in smoke.”

To help keep families safe around Thanksgiving, the American Red Cross offered these safety tips:

  1. Keep an eye on what you fry. Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  2. Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also keep children and pets at least three feet away.
  3. Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  4. Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  5. Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
  6. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

Gazzale says you can also help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your home fire escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late.