BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Smoke, broken glass, caved-in roofs, and damaged goods are what’s left of the non-profit thrift store, A Dream Shared.
The building located off of 19th and Vst. on Thursday at 11:15 pm, was engulfed by fire.
The founder of the organization Charles Heard, says that this is not the end for them.
"We are not going to let a fire stop us, we are going to keep going," said Heard.
Heard says they have been at this location for two years serving the community.
The organization says the thrift store is a space to give those with special needs job opportunities and life skills.
A Ring video inside the store shows the moments the fire began in the back of the building.
"The video shows a flame coming through the wall where the gas meter was," Heard said. "Once it comes through there is some source that ignites with and causing an explosion."
Heard recalls arriving at the building seeing over eight fire engines and says thankfully no one was inside when it happened.
The non-profit estimates that they lost thousands of items.
Heard says the greatest impact will be felt by the many adults with special needs, like his daughter--whom the organization was inspired by.
"It's priceless for what these kids were getting out of it to be able to come in learn and try new things and now it's just gone," said Heard.
The non-profit has been informed that the building will eventually have to be torn down, leaving them without a storefront.
A Dream Shared adds they want the community to know they are now looking for a new space and will be continuing to serve Bakersfield.
If you would like to learn more or donate be sure to follow this link or 661-348-3746.