American Red Cross helping 10 families displaced after two Columbus fires

(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The American Red Cross is assisting 10 families following a fire at Overlook Club Apartments on Tuesday and Beaver Pond Drive in North Columbus.

The organization is giving financial assistance for emergency food, clothing and housing.

"Our goal is to provide for those emergency immediate and making sure everyone has somewhere to stay, food clothing, shelter, and those kind of things. And get them the things you need. Especially if they lost anything significant, that needs to be replaced immediately like medications, or glasses,"  said Adelaide Kirk, Executive Director for the Red Cross of West Central Georgia.

Eight units were destroyed at the apartment complex displacing nine families.

Authorities say the fire began when grease caught fire while a woman was cooking chicken.

The cause of the fire on Beaver Pond Drive is still undetermined. However, fire officials say it began in the garage.

All locations are unlivable with heavy smoke and water damage.

Overlook Club apartment managers say they are collecting donations from the community for whoever would like to help those in need.

The American Red Cross is encouraging all households to have working smoke alarms in your home and to have a plan on how to quickly escape in case of a fire.

"Having a game plan in place is essential for all households so everyone knows what they should do when an emergency occurs," said Kirk,"Right now is the perfect time for West Central Georgia residents to create or update their plan and check that their smoke alarms are working."

The American Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and to increase your chances of surviving a fire:

1. Create and practice a fire escape plan, and install and maintain smoke alarms.
  • Home fire plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home where family members can meet after a fire.
  • Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year. Make sure that you practice that plan until every member of your household can escape in less than two minutes.
2. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year - if your model requires it.
  • Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and practice escaping your home in two minutes or less.

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