Major setback for Modesto Salvation Army as donations catch fire – CBS Sacramento


MODESTO (CBS13) – Carrying fire hoses as they were weighed down by heavy machinery, firefighters from multiple agencies battled through thick smoke and flames to save a piece of their own community.

“Every time you have a disaster like this it gets your stomach a little bit, but we’re here and we’re trying to do everything we can,” said Waterford firefighter Byron Baker.

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Salvation Army workers rushed customers out of the Modesto thrift store on Thursday afternoon when a warehouse at the back of the store suddenly caught fire.

“It hurts to see something like this happen because so many people depend on The Salvation Army,” said Capt. Samuel Snyder of The Salvation Army’s Modesto Corps.

The warehouse stored donations to be sold in the thrift store. All of this money goes back into the community through Salvation Army ministries, programs and the Adult Rehabilitation Center.

“For people who have addiction issues and things like that, to help them reintegrate into society. So it’s a loss. It’s a loss for us,” Captain Snyder said.

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And yet, even with that loss, they managed to shed some light as volunteers showed up with a truckload of drinks and piles of pizza. Enough to feed about 100 firefighters.

“It just helps. The longevity of the call, the night gets longer and later and it just helps to keep your spirits up. Give us something to chat, drink and refresh,” Baker said.

“We are so grateful to the firefighters and their quick response and for them risking their lives to save our building,” Capt. Snyder said.

It’s a risk that has been rewarded in a community that truly helps its own.

“We have learned that it is always better to give than to receive. So the Salvation Army, the way we work, we always give and we are blessed by giving,” said Captain Snyder.

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The thrift shop fire is the latest in a series of setbacks for the local Salvation Army. Their men’s residence in Stockton recently caught fire and their location in downtown Modesto was flooded. Yet they continue to do what the Salvation Army does: pick up and keep giving. If you want to help them get back on their feet, you can donate on their website.


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