Fire detroys BSM family’s house

Kathleen Ambre

Nearly three weeks ago, a family of the Benilde-St. Margaret’s community suffered the loss of their Edina home due to an unexpected electrical fire. Their immediate loss is a bit of a shock for the family of four, but the Benilde-St. Margaret’s community, alongside surrounding Minneapolis public schools, are doing all they can to ease a dramatic transition from normal, everyday life to an entirely new beginning.

Nick and Dan Emmanuel, alumni of the graduating class of 2007 and 2009, lost everything from clothes and baseball cards to family photos and other sentimental items. Having coached both boys in basketball and cross country over the years, faculty member Mr. Mark Snell reports on the known circumstances of the fire and its cause. “About three weeks ago they had a smoldering wire, it was a wire that caused the fire…It was a small fire but they didn’t catch it until eight hours later because no one was home,” said Mr. Snell.
Fortunately, all family members were not harmed–mother Joan, father Lewey, and sons Nick and Dan–however, the family lost two dogs in the fire whom were unable to escape. The road to recovery will be anything but easy, especially along the lines of insurance claims and compensation, but local fundraisers and personal donations are certainly making a difference. “I talked to the mom and she was pretty distraught about losing everything, but she certainly has taken a foot forward and there’s been a lot of people helping out…everyone has been really helpful and we [did] a fundraiser for them at Noodles,” said Mr. Snell.

Haven taken place Wednesday, April 1, the fundraiser was a huge success with over $300 of proceeds donated to the Emmanuel family’s cause. Even more donations have been made by local Minneapolis schools where the mother, Joan Emmanuel, works as a special education teacher. “It’s a pretty rough time for this family,” said family friend Mr. Snell, “I think you take one day at a time, be as positive as possible, have the faith, and just keep moving forward.”