Local Red Cross chapter helps fire victims

Friday, April 5, 2013 | 4:39 p.m. CDT; updated 4:53 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 6, 2013

COLUMBIA — The American Red Cross' Heart of Missouri Chapter  is working to help a family recover from a fire that damaged its home at 3414 Sierra Madre in southwest Columbia Thursday night.

The fire began in the clothes dryer downstairs when it overheated and ignited the clothing. It was discovered shortly after 10 p.m. when an occupant heard the smoke alarm, according to the Columbia Fire Department. Six children and two adults in the house escaped unhurt.

The fire caused $35,000 damage, primarily to the laundry room and kitchen area immediately above. The remainder of the five-bedroom rental had moderate smoke damage, but the house is uninhabitable until repairs are made, reported Lt. Brian Davison who investigated the fire.

Phillip Iman, disaster specialist at the local Red Cross chapter, said he met with the family Friday morning to discuss their needs in the coming weeks. 

“We assess each client’s needs and we provide them with  funds to begin the process of recovery,” Iman said.

Those who would like to assist the family can contact him at

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