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Fire at Midtown Community Center causes $250,000 in damage, according to Santa Cruz Fire

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV) - People at a community center used for multiple church services are counting their blessings after a fire broke out causing extensive damage this morning.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage was caused to the Midtown Community Center after a fire early Friday morning.

Santa Cruz Fire said the call came in around 9:55 a.m. on Friday after initial reports of a fire in the wall of the church.

No injuries were reported and everyone evacuated while crews got a handle on the flames.

Megan Grewohl, the Director of the Midtown Community Center describes the moments before she notice smoke coming out of the midtown community center on the corner of Gault and South Morrissey Street.

"The foundation had exposed rebar and so we had a building inspector tell us that needed to be cut. So we had someone out cutting that there wasn't any protection into that interior wall. And so if it was just a spark or a couple small sparks traveled up, there's rotted wood in that structure," said Grewohl.

Santa Cruz Fire was able to knock down the flames before it spread and caused additional damage to the building.

"The fire didn't spread, and we're very happy to report that nothing additional any of that contents or any of that music setup they had up on the stage was affected at all," said Daniel Kline, Battalion Chief with Santa Cruz Fire.

The stage and equipment are untouched by the fire. However, the timing could not be worse. The center is a popular venue for multiple church services and events. One of them is scheduled to continue as scheduled saturday despite the fire.

"The event tomorrow is Faith Community Church is hosting Jingle Jam. It's sort of like a parents night out, a fun way to tell kids the story of Jesus," said Grewwohl.

Until then, staff say they'll clean up the area close to the flames and find a way to fix the gap in the wall to make sure people attending are safe.

According to the fire department, it only took about 20 minutes to put out the fire. The fire department says the fire caused $250,000 in damage to the building.

Midtown Community Center staff say three people were in the building when the fire broke out.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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