North Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – More than a dozen apartment homes were damaged during a fire at the Cherokee Place Apartments in North Charleston on Sunday.
The American Red Cross is assisting more than 30 people with essential items, financial assistance, and mental and spiritual support.
“We are giving them financial assistants to make sure that they have a safe place to stay. We’re giving them hygiene items, a kit that includes shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, things like that because you have to imagine they’ve lost absolutely everything,” said Ashley Henyan, Executive Director of South Carolina American Red Cross.
CARTA and Salvation Army are also assisting families that were affected by the fire.
Fire prevention week starts Monday. Fire and Life Safety Educator of the North Charleston Fire Department Laura Kondor says 44% percent of house fires begin in the kitchen.
“Making sure that you have a good clean kitchen, that you pay attention… one of the phrases that the National Fire Protection Association uses is ‘keep an eye on what you fry,’ so stay in the kitchen, set timers if you have to walk away for a split second, but don’t get distracted,” Kondor stated.
The fire department says the most important thing you can do to protect your family in case of an emergency is to have a working smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, and an escape plan for your home.
“Lots of times we’ll see dish towels too close to the stoves, boxes of food, etc. so clean that away. Have your pot handles turned inward so you don’t accidentally bump the handle,” added Kondor.
The North Charleston Fire Department has seen an increase in house fires and fire-related injuries since the coronavirus pandemic began due to families being home more often.