Red Cross Helps Family After House Fire

Red Cross Helps Family After House Fire
By: Wes Wallace

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - A Monday evening house fire forces a Cape Girardeau family to find a new place to stay.
"I was on my way to work when I got a call," said Erica Emanuel. "My friend told me not to panic and that the kids were safe outside, but the house was on fire."
Firefighters say one of Emanuel's four children was playing with a cigarette lighter which started the fire.
Emanuel works full time and goes to school full time.  She's also pregnant with her fifth child.  With just a few relatives nearby, she had to turn to the Red Cross for help.
"They gave me a place to stay for a few nights, some clothes, food," said Emanuel. "I don't know what I'd do without them...they're a blessing."
Cheryl Klueppel, Executive Director of the Southeast Missouri Chapter American Red Cross, says this is a prime example of how they can help local families. 
"We prefer financial contributions rather than donations of clothes or other items, because we want families to feel empowered and buy things for themselves based on their immediate need following a tragedy," Klueppel said.

If you'd like to help Erica Emanuel and her family, who lost almost everything, or make a donation to the Red Cross, you can contact them at 573-335-9471 or check out their Web site