On Jan. 12 at 4:25 p.m. the Renville County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call reporting a house on fire on the 300 block of Walnut Drive North in the City of Morton.

The caller reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the basement of the house. The caller, who was the owner of the house, reported that he and the six other residents were able to safely get out of the residence.

When crews arrived on scene they found an active fire in the basement ceiling. The fire caused significant damage to the basement as well as the rest of the house due to the amount of smoke.

The fire caused all seven residents to be displaced. The Morton Fire Department and Morton MRU as well as the Franklin Fire Department and Franklin Ambulance responded to the scene. The American Red Cross assisted with the occupants of the residence.

Following devastating home fires, Red Cross volunteers connect with those affected and provide assistance for their immediate emergency needs, including emotional support and help with long-term recovery planning. According to the Red Cross, seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire.

The Red Cross has launched a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. As part of the campaign the Red Cross is joining fire departments and community groups nationwide to install smoke alarms in communities with high numbers of fires.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives – checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information, visit the Red cross Web site.

By empowering local volunteers, the American Red Cross is able to fulfill its mission to prevent and alleviate suffering in the face of emergencies. Become a Red Cross volunteer online.

The Minnesota Region of the American Red Cross responds to more than 600 disasters every year, most are home fires.

You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Learn more at redcross.org.

– Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross Web site