Red Cross helps assist families after fire tragedy

Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 8:08pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) – A Baton Rouge family receives much needed help from the Red Cross today after a fire badly damages their apartment.

"Well, we was asleep downstairs and our neighbors knocked on our door,” Sharman Sterling, resident of the apartment, said to NBC33 News as the flames on his home were being extinguished. “She said our apartment was on fire, so we ran out of the apartment."

While Sterling and his girlfriend were able to escape just in the knick of time, the fire caused them to lose most of their valuables and would have caused them to be homeless, if not for the Red Cross.

"The American Red Cross is here to respond to disasters in the immediate aftermath of a fire such as we have just had, to provide the immediate emergency assistance that the families need," Neal Hardin, one of the Red Cross volunteer responders, explained.

After this tragedy, the Red Cross provided Sharman and his girlfriend with not only food and clothing, but a place to stay until they are able to get back on their feet again. It’s help that they really appreciate.

“I am very thankful. It was tragic and they made me feel like it’s going to be better. They helped me out a lot.”

And with the Red Cross responding to an emergency every 18 hours, Hardin knows that his organization needs all the help it can get.

"The economy is tough these days,” Hardin said. “Our donations are down and we certainly hate to have to cutback on the assistance that these families so desperately need simply because we're not getting the donations in."

Click here if you would like to make a donation to the American Red Cross so that local families like Sterling and his girlfriend, can have assistance when tragedy strikes.

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