Pictured: A dresser covered with soot, art work penetrated with ash, a melted television and a wall destroyed by the fire are some of the remnants after a fire destroyed the Copeland family's home. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Single mother of four needs public's help - To help, call Mandy Copeland at 562-8060

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Single mother Mandy Copeland has had her share of struggles, recently she and her four children's lost all of their belongings in a fire that fire officials said started with a faulty water heater.

The local Red Cross chapter has put her family in a hotel for a couple of days, but after that they don't know where they will be living.

Copeland, along with her four children, Catelyn, 9, Jaycee, 7, and twin 6-year-old girls Chastity and Charity, are asking the public's help to find a place to live.

"Something just told me to get out of the house, so we left to my mom's house," Copeland said. "I had an angel tell me to get out of the house."

When Copeland returned to her home Sunday evening, she noticed smoke coming out of the vents from the mobile home. The fire spread throughout the home and soot penetrated the walls, clothing, appliances and furniture. A living room wall with the children's homemade art was covered with residue and ash.

"I don't know where to begin, you always hear of other people losing their homes," she said.

According to fire officials, the fire started about 6 p.m. on Sunday in the back room next to the master bedroom. The home is located in the 200 block of County Road 113.

No one was home at the time and no injuries were reported, fire officials said. The mobile home sustained fire and smoke damage and the family lost clothing, furniture and appliances.

Just a month ago, while picking up medication for her child, who has heart problems, at a pharmacy in Corpus Christi, Copeland was run over, and the driver of the car did not stop to render aid. Within a few weeks, Chastity is scheduled to have open-heart surgery, it's her fifth operation.

With a cast on her leg, Copeland is recovering from the fracture on her foot and shin area and is having to undergo physical therapy. From the impact, she fell in the parking lot and hit her head and had to have five staples put in her head.

She said if it weren't for bad luck, she wouldn't have any luck at all.

Copeland said her older daughter, Catelyn, was upset because she lost all of her books in the fire.

"My 9 year old is into books and last night she cried and cried," she said. "My kids ask me, 'mom, where is our home?' I don't know what to say."

Copeland said that despite losing all of their material possessions, she was glad no one was hurt in the fire.

"I really didn't lose anything," she said. "Because I have four of the greatest kids."