SeaTac completely lost more than $1 million in donated food in a fire early Friday morning.
The fire started under a refrigerated trailer outside the Praisealujah Food Distribution Center. The center distributes free meals to families and charities across Washington, feeding thousands of people every day.
“We are devastated. What are we going to do?” said Reverend Kelly Crow.
Reverend Kelly, who founded Praisealujah 16 years ago, said the fire would have a severe impact on the community. In addition to the loss of refrigerated trailers, more than 1,000 households were said to have stored food. Food, including meat, produce and dairy products, could not be recalled due to smoke damage.
The Puget Sound Fire determined that the fire was “accidental” and attributed it to a homeless person trying to keep or heat it.
“Unfortunately, when it’s cold outside, people with nowhere to go do whatever they can to survive,” says Pat Pawlak of Puget Sound Fire.
The fire reached the trailer’s diesel tank and caused an explosion.
The suspected igniter fled before firefighters arrived.
Reverend Kelly said he was grateful that no one was hurt. Without it, the center would be forced to cut food donations indefinitely.
“I know people don’t like to say it, but I say, we need help!” said Pastor Kelly.
Pastor Kelly hopes that, if possible, people will donate their time or money so that the center can resume helping as many people as possible.
Paul Meyer runs a food warehouse in Praisealujah. Like Pastor Kelly, he also hopes people will donate, but said he will continue to help as much as he can for the time being. We are still working to provide products, and face masks.
“Of course, we cannot stop doing good. [we] I just need a little help,” Meyer said.
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