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Red Cross of Washington County helping Sharpsburg family whose home was destroyed

May 03, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

The Red Cross of Washington County is collecting donations to help a Sharpsburg family whose home was destroyed by a fire last month.

Stacy Carder said that she and her husband, Michael, and their two teenage daughters lost everything in an April 20 fire that raged through their home at 7198 Dustin Drive.

"It's a day I'll never forget," Carder said. "We lost all of our personal belongings and five beloved pets."

Carder said the family stayed with her brother for three days until a friend loaned them a 33-foot camper, which they have been living in near the burned-out house.

"We went from a four bedroom to a camper," Carder said. "We'll just have to make that do."

Carder said the family is staying in the camper with three dogs that survived the blaze.

She said the family needs everything, including furniture for when they eventually move into another home.

The Red Cross gave the family a prepaid credit card shortly after the fire to buy some clothes and food, but that's the only help they've received outside their immediate family, Carder said.

"They did lose everything," said Mike Mowen, executive director of the Washington County Red Cross. "We provided some needed assistance, but when you're wiped out, any support from the community would be grateful."

Mowen said the Washington County Red Cross has helped 96 people who have been displaced by fire this year, but there's only so much the organization can do because it relies on donations.

"When you're helping a family of four, five or six find food, clothing and lodging, it gets expensive," Mowen said. "We survive on donations from the community."

Mowen said people can help the Carders by purchasing gift cards in the family's name and dropping them off at the Red Cross. Officials will make sure the Carders get the cards.

He said people also may donate to the Washington County Red Cross' Disaster Relief Fund. That money will help the Carders and families that have experienced similar tragedies.

The Red Cross of Washington County is at 1131 Conrad Court in Hagerstown. The telephone number is 301-739-0717.

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