Fire leaves 3 adults homeless

GoFundMe pages set up to raise money to help

  • Contributed Photo

Three adults are homeless after a fire destroyed their home Sunday evening.

Firefighters from the Barnwell Rural, Red Oak and Snelling fire departments responded around 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 to 933 Old Whiskey Road where they found an active structure fire. Approximately 30 firefighters responded and were on scene for close to three hours, said Barnwell Rural Fire Chief Jessie Elmore.

Susan Grubbs lived in the home with her boyfriend David Smith and friend CJ Knowles. One of the occupants was asleep when he heard one of the dogs barking. He then noticed a yellow light outside the window, which led him to discover the fire, said Elmore.

Though they are not exactly sure what caused the fire, they know it started on the front porch. The fire chief said they believe a freezer on the front porch or an extension cord plugged into it is to blame. The cord was placed under a window into the home to connect the freezer to a power source. Elmore said the window could have cut into the insulation of the cord over time and then rain from the day of the fire possibly caused it to short circuit.

No one was injured in the fire, but four pets perished. The double-wide mobile home is also a total loss as the occupants lost everything they owned, Elmore said.

The American Red Cross is assisting the three occupants by providing financial assistance, including for temporary lodging at a hotel. However, Grubbs said she along with Smith and Knowles need help with permanent shelter, food, clothes and money to get back on their feet.

A P.O. Box has been set up to receive donations at P.O. Box 204, Barnwell, SC 29812. She said people can also call or text (803) 300-3419 for large item donations. Friends have also started GoFundMe campaigns for Grubbs and Smith: www.gofundme.com/relief-for-susan-grubbs or www.gofundme.com/help-us-rebuild-davids-home-please.

“Please share your generosity so that she can get the things she needs to start over. Any amount great or small will be greatly appreciated,” according to the GoFundMe set up for Grubbs.