Office fire displaces two community service agencies - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Office fire displaces two community service agencies

An overnight fire at 5 Odana Court in Madison became a day of disbelief for two social service agencies that called the westside office building home.

"It's just a catastrophe at this point," said Jody Bartnick, the executive director of Community Coordinated Child Care. She was among those who watched what's left from a neighboring office. Bartnick's agency, better known as 4-C, offers training services and referrals for available day cares.

"The good news is, that being a non-profit and working in the early childhood community, we're very flexible people, so we can set up anywhere and perform our duties as necessary," she said on Wednesday.

Also housed there was Lutheran Social Services, which offers help with drug counseling, adoptions, disability services.

Right now, everything is in limbo. "Obviously, appointments want to be happening today, but we want to make sure that counseling can start again tomorrow or at some point in time at an alternate site," said Meg Groves, LSS's vice president of program services.

With this loss comes a question of possible lost records such as client histories and adoption files. Many these days are on back-up servers, not all.

"The part of the building that was least damaged is where our adoption offices were, so we're at least hopeful we'll be able to retrieve some of that," said Groves.

"Right now, it's kind of a toss up of things that are salvageable and things that are not," said Bartnick.

The most immediate is a need for a new roof, as well as items like computers. The goal here is to continue helping the community, even as the agencies need help themselves.

"It's a loss to lost the records, but still, our staff can respond to clients, we don't foresee any interruptions in services beyond (Wednesday)," said Groves. She said other agencies have already come forward offering temporary space.

"Everyone is kind of in emergency mode right now, thinking about the first inital steps and planing out the big picture," said Bartnick, who said her group had insurance to help cover some of the losses. 4-C hopes to have a barebones operation put together in the next week or two.

Both said the bright spot was that this took place overnight, hen no familes, children, or workers might have been injured.

If you need to call about a service or appointment:

Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) expected to have messages posted at 608-271-9181. The line was down earlier in the day.  You can also CLICK HERE FOR THEIR WEBSITE.

Lutheran Social Services said its toll free hotline for counseling services does work at 1-800-645-4303. Groves said their main line at 608-277-0610 should be up and running by Thursday. You can also CLICK HERE FOR THEIR WEBSITE.

Also, Jody Bartnick said a support fund has been set up to help 4-C by going to First Business Bank at 401 Charmany Drive; Madison, WI 53719.  Make checks payable to '4-C Support Fund.'

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