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Church work to go on in spite of fire that destroyed Brawley thrift shop

June 05, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — While fire may have gutted the building that housed the Brawley Thrift Store, the Rev. Raymond Arroyo said the charitable work of his church through the store will continue.

The thrift store, at the corner of Ninth and G streets, is run by Overcomers in Christ Ministries.

On Sunday a fire burned down the store despite the efforts of some 30 firefighters from departments around the Valley. They battled the blaze for two hours, but the fire gutted the building.

Brawley firefighters think the blaze originated in the attic and the cause of the fire may have been electrical. A determination of the cause had not been finalized as of this morning.

Arroyo said of the fire, "It was pretty shocking for myself and our volunteers. It is just something that happens."

He added, "Our faith will keep us going."

Arroyo said the church has been operating the thrift store for five years. The store had been at the corner of Ninth and G for more than two years.


The money raised by the thrift store has funded the church's food distribution. Arroyo and his volunteers have given out food to 100 families each week.

He said food is distributed daily and there is a "massive" food distribution done once a week.

Arroyo said that work will continue. He said volunteers will be at Main and Ninth streets today to pass out food to families.

"We want people to know we are down but we are not out," Arroyo said.

Still, Arroyo said, his church is looking for a new facility in which to run the thrift store.

"The building is the greatest need right now," he said, adding the church needs a 2,000 square-foot facility for the thrift store.

"Any building would be a blessing," he said.

Arroyo added everything inside the thrift store was destroyed and the church is in need of donations.

He said anyone wishing to donate can contact the church at 344-2616 or 996-6564.

Staff Writer Darren Simon may be reached at 337-4082.

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