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Southwest Bakersfield church building destroyed by fire

Fire department (FILE)
Posted at 4:52 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 00:03:08-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Last week, a fire damaged the home for the unhoused operated by Victory Outreach Church in southwest Bakersfield. The home was a place for people recovering from drugs and alcohol. Now it is fenced off and boarded up.

“For the recovery home, we like to help men out that either have substance abuse, drug abuse, even if some of them that are homeless, we do take them in and encourage them,” said Sanchez

Sanchez says services were happening when the fire started. The fire destroyed not only the building but everything inside it.

“By the time that we got there, most of the house was already engulfed in flames,” said Sanchez. The fire left some people who were previously recovering from drugs and alcohol without a place to stay.

“You’re in unbelief,” said Sanchez. “We’re like, ‘Wow, what happened?’ Right away you begin to think, like, ‘Was there anybody there at the time?’ We were just still trying to put the puzzles together and trying to figure out, ‘Is everybody okay? Is everybody fine?’”

While no one was hurt, Sanchez says the men are now staying at the recovery facility at the church, and they are thankful for the community’s support.

“We are just glad and appreciate the community, and some people are responding, and some people are giving,” said Sanchez. “Which is great, because there was a couple of men that were there and the family too, so they want to make sure they are taken care of.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Anyone who would like to donate basic necessities for the people left in need by this fire, you can drop them off at Victory Outreach Southwest anytime Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.