Amarillo Fire Department battling fire at Family Support Services

News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Fire Department is battling a fire at Family Support Services in downtown Amarillo.

According to FSS staff on the scene, the fire started around 4 a.m.

They do not believe anyone is injured at this time.

MyHighPlains.com’s Crystal Martinez is on the scene and will have updates as they become available.


UPDATE:

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Family Support Services is now trying to figure out what’s next after an early morning fire destroyed their building.

According to the Amarillo Fire Department, the fire began around four am and continued throughout the day.

Dark smoke rose throughout the streets of Downtown Amarillo. Many watched from the sidelines as Family Support Services went up in flames.

Amarillo Fire Department’s, Captain Kyle Joy, said despite firefighters’ efforts, the building could not be saved.

“Family Support Services section of this building is going to be a total loss. The roof has collapsed down on top of that,” Joy stated.

For those who work at FSS, seeing the building burn is heartbreaking.

“There’s years of memories in that building,” Jim Womack, Chief Executive Officer, stated.

Womack said the fire will not stop them from assisting those victims of abuse, who need their help the most.

“The safe house which is off-site luckily has not been affected by this, all the safehouse residents and all the staff are safe. that was a blessing,” Womcak said.

FSS members said the community’s concern has been nothing short of amazing.

“The outpouring of community support from other organizations and the community offering to help already.the fact that so many people have reached out, it means a lot,” Womack stated.

For now, FSS will work on finding a new home and ways to rise from the ashes.

“We’re going to move forward and I believe we’re going to come out of this stronger and better than ever,” Womack stated.

Family Support Services will be holding a meeting tomorrow on January 20, to see where they will work until they find a new building.

The Mardi Gras fundraiser will still take place in February.

UPDATE:

Here is an update from the Amarillo Fire Department.

AFMO has completed their investigation and ruled the fire as “Accidental.”

Estimated damage has been determined to be $800,000. There were no injuries at this incident.

AFD said crews did an amazing job of preventing the fire from extending into newly remodeled structures that share a common wall with the structure that was lost in the fire – preventing the dollar loss from being much higher.

These types of structures, that share common walls, present a unique and challenging situation when fighting a fire. Firefighters spend a lot of time studying methods of building construction as well as firefighting tactics to address these methods.

This training, coupled with preplanning, and the inspections and code enforcement of the AFMO all worked today to prevent further damage.

AFD recognizes that the loss of the building that houses Family Support Services and the Veterans Support Services affects many individuals in our community. Our thoughts are with those citizens, and while the building is a total loss, we hope to see the positive work provided by each of these organizations continue in our city.

We are also grateful that no one, citizens nor firefighters, were injured at this fire. AFD will keep units on scene throughout most of the night to monitor the scene.


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