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How to help: Community giving aid to fire victims

Madison Jeter

By Tuesday afternoon, a public Facebook group entitled “Assistance for Landau Fire” had more than 1,500 members as volunteers worked feverishly to come to the aid of those displaced by an early Sunday morning fire that decimated eight units in Clinton’s Landau Apartments.

“Everybody has really come together,” said Courtney Snow, public information officer for the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. “People here have helped so much, and people from other counties and even other states are assisting us with donations. People working to get vacant apartments at Landau cleaned up to get ready for people to move in.”

Madison Jeter, a 4-year-old girl sleeping upstairs in one of the units was killed in the blaze as firefighters were unable to reach her due to the flames. An autopsy determined the child died of smoke inhalation, the Laurens County Coroner’s Office said Monday.

Fifteen other people, including seven children, were displaced and most if not all of their belongings were destroyed in the Landau fire. Another fire in Joanna, which displaced a family with four children, also occurred over the weekend, and volunteers are attempting to help all of them.

“We’re trying to take in the donations, and we’ve bought toys for the children for Christmas,” said Snow, who is also in charge of the LCSO’s annual Christmas for Kids campaign. “Then we’ll see what needs have to be met once we get through Christmas.”

First Baptist Church of Clinton is to host Santa Claus for the children today, while donations continue to be accepted.

Snow said the best way to keep up with the ongoing efforts is to join the Facebook group. There, those wishing to donate can find clothes sizes needed and other necessities that are being collected.

Monetary donations are also being accepted for all the families at Arthur State Bank in Clinton.

The American Red Cross is also accepting donations to assist the families in both fires.

“We want to thank everybody who has helped us and urge them to keep checking the Facebook page,” Snow said.

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