Fire crews worked to contain two house fires in Aiken County and one in Barnwell last week, which unfortunately left several residents without homes.
The American Red Cross also responded to each of these devastating fires with disaster-trained volunteers who assisted those left stranded without a home.
The first reported house fire occurred on Tuesday on Jasmine Ridge Road in Aiken.
Firefighters with the Aiken Department of Public Safety responded to the scene to put out the blaze, which caused severe damage to the home. No one was injured with one adult and child managing to safely escape.
Red Cross volunteers helped these victims and any others after a fire by providing financial assistance for food, clothing, and other essentials and comfort kits containing personal hygiene items.
The second fire was reported early Thursday morning on US Highway 278 in Barnwell County.
Barnwell County firefighters responded to the blaze, which they managed to safely extinguish. The house was severely damaged, making it a "total loss."
Two adult victims were able to safely exit the residence and get assistance from Red Cross.
Finally, the third house fire occurred later in the day on Thursday at a residence on Jones Circle in Langley.
The Langley Volunteer Fire Department responded to contain the blaze and reported seven victims escaped safely with no injuries.
Red Cross volunteers arrived to the scene and assisted two adults with five children after they had to abandon their family home.
All three of these reported fires are still being investigated with the cause for each still not yet determined.
Officials with Red Cross remind residents that during winter months many people use supplemental heating appliances to warm their homes. However, many do not realize the dangers these appliances possess if not used correctly.
For example, space heaters must be kept at least 3 feet away from anything that can easily burn and they must also be placed on a hard level, nonflammable surface, according to a release provided by the American Red Cross.
Another safety tip for residents – do not use a stove top or an oven as an alternative heat source, as it can easily go wrong.
Structure fires tend to spread quickly, giving residents little to no time to think before having to abandon their home.
The final tip is for residents who use wood, coal or gas for heating their homes. Fire officials state that all three of these heating options can create carbon monoxide, which can build up inside a home, ending with deadly results.
Every home should have a fire alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm as mandatory safety devices.
For more information on the American Red Cross, plus more fire safety and home heating tips, visit redcross.org.