Daycare Destroyed By Fire Finds New Home - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/20/05

Daycare Destroyed By Fire Finds New Home

Lubbock Fire investigators are searching for clues that will lead them to an arson suspect. Authorities say Broad Horizons Daycare was burglarized and then set on fire early Saturday morning. Fire fighters discovered a TV and other electronics abandoned just feet away from the building at 50th and Avenue T. The fire burned for more than five hours causing an estimated $750,000 in damage.

The parents of the 130 children who attended the daycare were left without a place to take their children this week, that's until an organization stepped to help. When unsuspecting parents arrived Monday morning to drop their kids off they found a sign directing them to a new place that has opened it's doors to the daycare.

"We've got children that are traumatized by the fact that they loved that place and enjoyed it and they have no where to go," explains Shirley Madden, Executive Director of My Father's House.

Starting over. That's what the staff and children of Broad Horizons are doing after a fire destroyed the facility they called a second home. The loss inspired Shirley to open their doors to the daycare. "The fire itself was enough trauma for them, not having a place to go and the family being impacted by that was just not good," adds Shirley.

"As long as my children have a place to be and my girls have a place to work it will go on," explains Hilda Garcia, owner of the daycare. She says she couldn't be more grateful to My Father's House for allowing her staff and children to resume their daily activities and even more importantly begin the healing process.

"The main thing were doing is making the children comfortable, we have a lot of children crying, a lot of parents crying and we have to make them safe and secure," says Hilda.

"As long as he's with his teachers, I know he'll be fine," says Vanessa Martinez. Like most parents, devastated by the fire, she is relieved her two-year old son will continue to receive care and instruction from the staff he's learned to love.

"Just because they're here, he's still going to stay with them because that's where I want him," she says.

Despite their loss, the daycare has found comfort between the walls of My Father's House, and the staff and children have filled the space with the love and laughter that holds this family together. "It's different, but at least the smiling faces are still there. The kids are seeing their own friends, their own teachers and this is good. We may set up residency here," says Hilda

More than 100 children are expected Tuesday at My Father's House. Authorities tell NewsChannel 11 they have no suspects at this point. If you saw anything in the area of 50th and Avenue T after midnight Friday, you're asked to call Deputy Fire Marshall Garett Nelson at (806) 775-2646. He says the slightest details could be helpful.

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