Aiken County Sheriff’s Office encouraging fire prevention after four house fire fatalities

South Carolina News

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)— In less than two weeks, five people have died in house fires across the CSRA. Four of those house fire fatalities happened in Aiken. According to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, they were due in part to electrical issues.

The department took to Facebook with a warning.

Two elderly sisters lost their lives December 9th in their home.

The following day, a Windsor man died when his home went up in flames.

The victim’s brother-in-law tried to help the man escape– and his sister told NewsChannel 6 that night it was a devastating scene.

“He ran around with the water hose and he started trying to put the blaze that was coming from his bedroom out,” Sierra Utter said.

Just five days later, the life of a 10-year-old girl was claimed in a New Ellenton fire. The fires are under investigation and there is no evidence of foul play. According to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, they were due in part to electrical issues.

“I don’t have all the answers because some of those cases are still active and ongoing with our forensic investigators looking through and analyzing that evidence, but there are some indicators with some of them that is electrical,” Capt. Eric Abdullah of the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office said.

Captain Abdullah says it is tragic but common in the winter for house fire calls to increase, and they hope to educate residents on preventative measures to avoid being a victim.

“We know that your precious memories are inside your home and all your personal affects, but we cannot replace your life,” Capt. Abdullah said.

The Sheriff’s Office warned on Facebook against connecting extension cords, running cords under rugs, and putting space heaters too close to other objects.

“Space heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. They should not be ran when you’re not at home,” Capt. Abdullah said.

Fatalities from house fires are most often caused by smoke inhalation. Captain Abdullah says he encourages everyone to install a smoke detector, change the batteries, and test it regular. There should be one located outside all bedrooms.

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