LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A fire in an apartment complex in Louisville’s Klondike neighborhood early Tuesday morning left 16 teens in foster care homeless.
“Most of our kids came out in their pajamas and socks and everything else was gone,” Tamara Brown, Boys and Girls Haven Program Manager said.
Louisville firefighters were called to the 3700 block of Klondike Lane around 12:45 a.m. The building, located near Hikes Lane and next to Klondike Elementary School, houses residents of Boys & Girls Haven, a nonprofit foster care agency.
The person who called in the fire told MetroSafe it started on a stove. Upon arrival, fire crews found heavy smoke and fire coming from the building. Extra equipment was brought to the scene to help check the building for residents.
Rebekah Farley, Senior Development Officer for Boys & Girls Haven, said the fire happened in the kitchen and was accidental.
Boys & Girls Haven offers one of the few full pre-independent living programs for boys and girls in the state of Kentucky, Farley said. The young adults, who are between the ages 17-21, have private, one-bedroom apartments and access to 24/7 on-site youth counselors to provide guidance and care.
The fully staffed and supervised dorm-style living program provides them with the independence, accountability, and support needed to successfully transition from foster care to adulthood.
No injuries were reported, but there will be no quick fix for the losses suffered.
“We’re all in the gym right now for up to the next two weeks,” Brown said. “The Red Cross was generous enough to bring by blankets and cots and toiletry kits for them all last night. We went out and purchased pillows, but really that’s all they have right now.”
Brown discouraged material donations and said the best assistance the public can provide is in giving gift cards. Cash donations can also be made online at www.BoysandGirlsHaven.org.
“They’re going to need everything -- dishes, towels, shower curtains, toiletries,” Brown said. “All the things we take for granted in our daily life are going to be starting from scratch for them."
The Boys & Girls Haven posted instructions for giving on their Facebook page.
“For those wishing to assist during the recovery process, donations of gift cards to replace lost items are most appreciated,” the group posted in the comments section. “Suggested gift card locations: Target, Walmart, HomeGoods, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc."