Eight families displaced by apartment fire - FOX Carolina 21

Eight families displaced by apartment fire

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The fire displaced 11 adults and eight children. (iWitness: Candi M.) The fire displaced 11 adults and eight children. (iWitness: Candi M.)
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Firefighters in Laurens County are trying to figure out what started a fire that damaged several apartments late Christmas Day.

It happened at the Laurens Villa Apartments on Exchange Drive just after 11 p.m. Wednesday, dispatchers said.

Eight families were forced to leave their homes. The American Red Cross said Wednesday that a total of 11 adults and eight children were displaced.

"We are shellshocked from losing everything," said Andy Knott, who lost everything but the clothes on his back in the fire. He and his family escaped unharmed.

"They lost all their Christmas," said Melinda Rogers, Andy's wife, choking back tears. "And my son lost his notebook for school. He lost his art sketchbook for school."

Firefighters on scene said three of the apartments suffered heavy damage, and five others were also damaged enough that no one could stay in them.

No one was hurt, according to crews on scene.

The Red Cross is now assisting the displaced families.

"We're working with local housing officials to make sure that folks can be relocated to places that they can afford," said Ann Wright, CEO of the local chapter of the Red Cross.

The Red Cross is accepting donations of food, clothing and toys, since many children lost their Christmas presents in the fire. They are also accepting monetary donations so families can have something to purchase needed items with.

To donate to these eight displaced families, call 864-271-8222, or click here.

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