AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — Although one person was treated on scene for smoke inhalation, no serious injuries were reported after a fire destroyed a kitchen at the Downtown Women's Center.
A blaze that lasted nearly 15 minutes ripped through a kitchen in a single-person home at the Downtown Women's Center on Monroe St. Cabinets charred, plastic melted, and walls as black as the inside of a chimney.
“I’m told that the tv melted and right next to the tv were two candles and they were just fine," said Diann Gilmore, Executive Director of the Women’s Center.
The blaze was labeled a cooking fire. Gilmore says it happened when the person stepped away for a moment.
“Then women came and said smoke is coming out of the cottage," said Gilmore.
Amarillo Fire Department Captain Cody Snyder added the track of the fire. He says the “top of the stove caught fire, [it] got into cabinets and then spread the ceiling area.”
“She ran out there with two extinguishers, trying to put it out herself,” said Gilmore. “But it had gotten too big.”
Captain Snyder says fire crews were on the scene in two minutes. The fire was out in 10. However, left in the wake of the fire was roughly $30,000 in damage, by fire officials estimate.
“You have fire damage. You have smoke damage,” explained Cpt. Snyder. "Then when we come in, unfortunately, there's usually some water damage. We have to tear up some drywall to make sure there's no fire in the walls or in the attic or anything like that. So there is a little damage that goes with us arriving, unfortunately.”
The damage is primarily in the kitchen but forward-thinking a year and a half ago prevented a further catastrophe. A wall of the structure, which is close to another building, is a firewall, meaning no doors or windows for the flames to escape and jump to other structures.
“It saves from a lot of damage and a lot of fire spread,” said Snyder. “[It] actually makes our job a little bit easier also.”
“It worked, thanks be to God," Gilmore said. "We're just very grateful for the planning ahead and I guess our word to everyone is please do not leave anything on a stove for even 30 seconds because sometimes you're so distracted with something else you forget."
Fortunately, they have insurance says Gilmore and depending on what the contractor says, there may be some out-of-pocket costs.
Gilmore adds any help from the public is greatly appreciated.
“The community has supported us through this whole pandemic, it’s almost embarrassing to have to come and ask for anything else,” said Gilmore. “We're very grateful,"
You can donate on their website.