Community reaches out to single mom and son

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Just a day after a fire destroyed their south Knoxville home, a mother-son pair have keys to a new apartment and friends and strangers supporting their climb back up.

"It's amazing to see how a tragic brings people together and brings out the best in people," said Jerri Thomas.

Thomas and her soon-to-be one-year-old Eli woke up to the sound of a smoke alarm Sunday morning. The fire destroyed their home and all of their belongings in less than an hour.

"It was a little stressful last night. I couldn't sleep. I was scared. You know, it just kept replaying in my mind," said Thomas.

The Red Cross was at the scene of the fire to help Thomas and her neighbors. They put the pair up in a hotel room for the night and provided them with basic necessities they no longer had.

"It's especially hard this time of year when people have emergency needs and the Red Cross is someone you hope you'll never have to rely on, but it's always good to know that the Red Cross is there and that wouldn't be possible without the American public," said Red Cross Director of Communications Stan Gibert.

"Christmas is coming so I want to get settled in and have Christmas the way it's supposed to be," said Thomas.

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