Red Cross sees increase in house fires during winter months

Local News

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Each year as the weather gets colder, the number of house fires increases.

The Red Cross assists many families in the fires, including one in Woodruff that happened Thursday night.

“It was scary, I ain’t gonna lie, it was very scary,” says April Razzouk, home owner.

April Razzouk’s home on Jamies Creek Drive caught fire late on Thursday night. She says thanks to her son’s warning, they all made it out okay.

“I mean that’s the best feeling that we all got out and got my dog out too,” says Razzouk.

She says the most damage happened in the kitchen.

“They got to replace this wall that’s right here, they had to replace the ceiling, the cabinets over the stove,” she said.

Razzouk says she can still taste the smoke.

“Oh yeah, I can feel it. From here, all the way up, it’s just, I can feel it in there. And last night, I mean, I was spitting it up,” said Razzouk.

She says she’s thankful Redcross stepped in to help.

“All of this started about say about 10 o’clock last night and then by 12 o’clock we was in the hotel room,” said Razzouk.

Mandy McWherter with Red Cross South Carolina says this is one of many house fires they see this time of year. She says on average, the Red Cross responds to 6 house fires a day in this state.

“We tend to see that number increase by about 30% through the colder months, and certainly around the holidays we unfortunately see a spike as well,” said McWherter.

She says the Razzouk’s home won’t be livable for at least a few days.

“We’ve classified this as an unhabitual property, and that means, for whatever reason, the fire department has determined it’s not safe for the family to stay there,” McWherter.

McWherter says the number one cause of fires is cooking, followed by people using extra sources of heating and holiday decorations. She says ways to prevent to fires in your home: check smoke alarms every month, pay attention when you’re cooking, be careful with space heaters, and use battery operated candles.

McWherter says ways you can help families going through house fires, like the Razzouk’s, is to donate to the Red cross or by volunteering your time.

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