Fire damaged the offices of a Lexington homeless program Monday when a blaze started outside in a Rosie recycling container and spread into the building through an air-conditioning system, Lexington fire Capt. Lee Hayden said.
The fire occurred at God's Net on East Seventh Street. Hayden said fire officials didn't know whether the blaze, which broke out shortly after 5 a.m., was intentional or an accident.
The building housed the office that operates the Catholic Action Center day program for the homeless and the Community Inn, an overnight shelter. The buildings for the Catholic Action Center and Community Inn, which are on East Fifth Street and Winchester Road, respectively, remain open, "never missing a beat," said Ginny Ramsey, co-director of the homeless program.
Nonetheless, the fire resulted in a loss for the program. All of the office equipment and files were lost, and heavy smoke damaged donated clothing, household items and books, Ramsey said.
It's the building where goods are donated and volunteers are organized. God's Net provided clothing for about 130 people a day, Ramsey said.
"Some people get to go to the mall. Our people get to go to God's Net," she said.
The building also offered a place for homeless people to do laundry, she said. Program officials were trying to determine the extent of damage to the donated goods and the monetary loss.
The program's offices will move to space on Winchester Road until the original building is repaired, Ramsey said. Office files will have to be re-created.
"It's going to be a challenge," she said. "We'll get past it."
Can you help?
Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of Catholic Action Center, said people who want to donate computers, office equipment and supplies, items for the clothing bank, household items or money may call (859) 514-7210.
Donations in the form of checks may be sent to Catholic Action Center, P.O. Box 324, Lexington, Ky. 40588.
Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.