Fire has destroyed the headquarters of the Salvation Army and the organization’s thrift store in Summersville.
The blaze was first reported at around two o’clock Friday morning at the SA’s building along Broad Street.
Salvation Army Captain Rob Barber says the fire appears suspicious.
“It started at the back of the building very near the same location as a year ago when we had a door burn..(Arson) is very possible,” Barber said.
The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating. There have been multiple arson fires in Summersville in the past 18 months.
Barber says the damage is significant.
“The back of the building is heavily damaged. It burned up into the second floor and part of the ceiling is down,” Barber said. “We’ve got lots and lots of smoke damage and the thrift store is a total loss.”
City officials are helping the organization find another location to restart services. Barber says they need an office space as soon as possible.
“At this time of year it’s very important. People are desperate for utility assistance but with this happening it’s going to limit our help,” Captain Barber said.
Captain Barber says the Salvation Army finds itself in an unusual position.
“We’re usually here to help others. On my over here I was trying to think of a place that was open so I could buy coffee for the firefighters,” he said. “It’s definitely a different position for us to be the victims and not here to help.”
Anyone interested in offering assistance can call the Beckley Salvation Army at 304-253-9541.