Blessed Hope Thrift Store Catches Fire
A building fire in Newberry destroyed a place that feeds and clothes the hungry. The Blessed Hope Thrift Store was set on fire early this morning and the act didn't go unnoticed, a passerby witnessed the entire thing.
Sherry Hutchinson rides her bike every morning around 6:30 by the Blessed Hope Thrift Store and Food Pantry. Hutchinson says as she approached Blessed Hope she saw a white male in his early 20's run out of the front of the store. Immediately after, the thrift store went up in flames. Lieutenant Kevin Farr of Newberry Fire Station 28, right across the street, saw the smoke and immediately responded. Farr says the fire was put out within three minutes time.
Damage was done mostly to the front of the store, the fire inspector estimates about 10,000 dollars worth of damage. The city brought in a temporary electric pole to keep the power running and prevent the food in the pantry from going bad. Blessed hope serves about 800 people in the Newberry community with food, clothing, and housing.
If you're interested in helping them pick up the pieces of this mess, they're accepting donations which can be dropped off at Newberry City Hall. Alachua County Sheriff's Office is still investigating who the arsonist is and what his intentions were.
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