Groups providing clothing, housing after fire destroys home

From staff reports

WEBB CITY, Mo. - Area social-service agencies are assisting a Webb City woman and her four young children in finding a place to live after their home burned Tuesday.

Chandra Shumaker, 23, said the American Red Cross' Southwest Missouri Chapter has placed her and her four children - Shealyn, 5; Ginger, 4; Elizabeth, 3; and Brianna, 2 - at the Hallmark Inn.

Shumaker on Wednesday she was awaiting word on whether her family will qualify for transitional housing through the Economic Security Corp.

She said the Salvation Army has provided referrals for the family to get two twin beds for two of her daughters. She said her son's bed and her bed survived the fire.

"Basically, everything I lost was in the girls' room," she said.

Shumaker said her son was attending classes at the Head Start in Webb City when the fire broke out in her daughters' bedroom.

Shumaker believed the three girls were taking a nap, but they were playing with a lighter that started the bedroom fire at 711 S. Walker St., Apartment B. The fire was reported at 1:25 p.m.

Firefighters believe the bed was ignited first, and the fire spread to a baby crib and the carpet.

The apartment had at least two smoke alarms, one upstairs and one downstairs. The smoke alarms were still sounding when firefighters arrived.

Head Start workers have sent letters home with children to see if their families have clothing that might assist the Shumakers, said Pat Souders, a caseworker for Head Start in Webb City.

"Basically, what they lost is clothing and bedding," Souders said.

Details: Head Start, 300 N. College St. in Webb City, (417) 673-5967.

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