Fire destroys Galveston County's Salvation Army office


Flames damaged the facility in Texas City. Folks there served all of Galveston County but now they are having a tough time recovering.

The fire hit them last week and now it appears it was so bad that the building is not salvageable. And as employees try to get back on their feet, they are also still helping those in need.

"We received the call that our building was on fire. The flames were coming out of the windows there," said Sgt. Stephanie Maxwell, who runs the charity along with her husband, Greg Maxwell.

And when the Maxwells arrived, the Salvation Army office in Texas City was reduced to rubble. The fire broke out around 7am April 2.

"You walk in, you smell, you touch -- everything is just totaled," Sgt. Greg Maxwell said.

The building on Texas Ave housed their administration and social services offices. The Texas City branch supports all of Galveston County and the 13 cities within its boundaries; anywhere from 20 to 30 families a day usually come for all types of assistance, especially food.

The electrical fire also ruined a well-stocked pantry of supplies for those in need.

The Maxwells are now setting up a makeshift office.

"We are just in the process of transitioning a building. Getting shelving up, basic equipment, phone lines and computers. All that has to be done first before we can accommodate physical donations at this site," Sgt. Stephanie Maxwell said.

And the transition comes as they continue to maintain a heavy workload.

"We're here still, giving out food and doing what we can, when we can," Sgt. Greg Maxwell said.

It appears the building is a total loss and will be demolished. Now the sergeants march on with hope and faith.

"We're hopeful for a new beginning and that the new building that is built will be able to accommodate even more folks," Sgt. Stephanie Maxwell said.

Besides the food pantry, the Salvation Army office also lost a lot of equipment and resource materials. Engineers are still assessing the building and it's not yet clear when a new one will be built, so for the foreseeable future they are working out of their chapel building, which is next door.

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