House catches fire in Lowndes Co. - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

House catches fire in Lowndes Co.

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LOWNDES COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

Another family is without a home in Lowndes County after a fire destroyed half their home. South Georgia Red Cross officials say in the past two months, they've had to assist twice the number of families as compared to last year.

Half of a home destroyed by fire and a family without a place to live is one more disaster in Lowndes County that's becoming a regular occurrence. South Georgia Red Cross officials say they've had to provide shelter to eight families in just the past two months.

"We're not really sure why, we do know that most of the fires have been attributed to cooking fires, my biggest advice to folks out there right now is to please if you've got to leave the stove, step out of the room, turn it off," said Jack Looney, South Georgia Red Cross Emergency Services Manager.

The cause of the fire that damaged the home to seven people Tuesday night is still undetermined. But homeowner Andrea Wright, her children, and grandchildren all got out safely. One neighbor said the family had been living in the Stock Pen Road home for ten years.

"It's just kind of sad you know to lose your home, especially with the way the economy is, I know it's going to be kind of hard on them," said Henry Turner.

"When you get that call at 2 o'clock in the morning and you respond and you see the family standing outside of what used to be their home and personal possessions and now it's just a pile of ashes, you can't help but your heart goes out to them," said Looney.

Looney says this winter the organization expects to respond to more than 200 house fires in the south Georgia region. He says most winter fires are caused by space heaters.

"Be careful with space heaters, obviously don't put them too close to your bed linen, and please turn them off before you go to sleep," said Looney.

From storm damage to house fires the Red Cross depends on donations to provide food, shelter, and even clothing to families during a disaster.

The South Georgia Red Cross will typically provide up to 72 hours of shelter to families like the Wrights.

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