SPOKANE, Wash. - Clean up is in full swing at St. Margaret's Shelter in Spokane after a small closet fire caused heavy water damage to the shelter Saturday night.
"We dropped everything and ran upstairs, I got my kids out," Lisa, who lives at the shelter with her children, said.
More than 50 women and children call the shelter home. "It's another way of starting all over," Lisa said.
The fire got started Saturday afternoon around 4 p.m.
"The fire happened in the closet in the resident's room directly above the common living area," Ann Marie Byrd of Catholic Charities of Spokane said.
Investigators later learned children were playing with a lighter and sparked the fire. "Certainly policy and procedures are looked at very closely, certainly after incidents like this to make sure that we are safeguarding at every point," Byrd said.
Damage was contained to the closet but sprinklers in the building caused heavy water damage. The shelter says they will have to replace the ceiling tiles on the first floor and possibly the floor tiles from the second floor.
While the residents have been unable to stay here, the Spokane community has stepped in and saved the day. "Red Cross has provided meals, volunteers are dropping off pods today to clean up some of the resident's rooms so that they can have some of their goods and clothes," Lisa said.
It's too early to tell exactly how much damage was done by the fire, but as of now the shelter is counting their blessing.
"This is a perfect scenario. Everyone is safe and we will be open very quickly," Byrd said.
Fourteen of the families should be able to move back Monday night. The other four families should be able to move in next week.
- Spokane family knows first hand high demand for behavioral health services
- North Monroe project to move forward despite lingering concerns
- Bloomsday looking for more volunteers
- Historic Ridpath hotel to be turned into affordable housing
- Problematic drug house in Spokane boarded up
- Local school district tackles '13 Reasons Why'