The Canadian Red Cross says two fires in rural Nova Scotia have forced nine people from their homes. (Canadian Red Cross)

Two separate fires in rural southern Nova Scotia during Friday’s blizzard forced nine people from their homes.

Seven people, including three children, escaped a mid-afternoon blaze that gutted their rented house about 15 kilometres north of Yarmouth, according to the Canadian Red Cross.

They are now staying with relatives and the Red Cross is helping them buy clothing, food and personal care items.

The local fire chief says the blaze started in the chimney and then spread, according to the Red Cross.

Earlier in the day there was a fire in Ashmore, about 25 kilometres southwest of Digby. This one started about 1:30 a.m. and forced a man and his son from their home.

They’ve been found a place to stay with the help of the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.