Fire Damage Minimal, Shelter Residents Return

Post a Comment » Written on January 17th, 2008     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (January 17, 2008) – A fire at the Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO) homeless shelter caused only minor damage, and all residents have been able to return, says Sandy Ramsey, the ministry’s director. Jesus People USA Covenant Church (JPUSA) operates the shelter.

“It was a small contained fire in the basement, but there was plenty of smoke,” says Ramsey. The five-story building includes a large kitchen and dining area, dormitory for women and children, three rooms for intact families, and an adolescent boys dorm, as well as recreational facilities.

The day staff worker was working late at the shelter and was leaving when the alarm sounded. After calling the Fire  Department, he and several other staff members quickly evacuated others in the shelter, Ramsey says. Firefighters took less than half an hour to extinguish the flames after being notified of the fire.

“We have a second shelter across the street with a dining room, so we had a place to send them quickly and out of the cold,” says Ramsey, adding that food was provided. ‘The families were amazingly settled and sat chatting while they ate.”

Ramsey called the Chicago Department of Human Services for blankets, which delivered 12 boxes in case all of the displaced people would have to spend the night in the dining room. Within three hours, all of the residents were able to return. Several who were too nervous to return remained in the dining room.

“We are very thankful to God and to everyone who have extended their prayers and concern,” Ramsey says. “Even in bad things like this, I know the Lord is right there in control, and I just watch to see how he works.”

To read an earlier story, please see Fire Damages Shelter.

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