Dear Friends of KidsPeace
I am writing to inform you of a fire we had early Thursday morning at our Pioneer Center building in Orefield, Pennsylvania. Let me assure you that there were no injuries and all children and KidsPeace associates were evacuated quickly and calmly. The fire, which began at around 3:00 a.m., was contained in an administrative section of the building and never threatened the children who were on site. The local fire departments responded rapidly and had the fire under control within 2 hours. These dedicated volunteer fire fighters remained on the scene for several hours to ensure that the fire was completely out and the building secured.
We are extremely proud of the KidsPeace associates who acted according to protocols and removed the children from the premises in an orderly, rapid manner. The 25 children were immediately transported to the Therapeutic Education Center on our Orchard Hills Campus and beds were made ready for them so that they could get back to sleep after this incident. We are preparing two residential houses on the Orchard Hills campus for these young men, and they should be able to move in very soon. Counselors are available to talk to the children about the incident and to provide whatever support they require to deal with this event.
The extent of damage to the building has not yet been determined, and the fire marshal is investigating to find the cause, which is believed to be an electrical issue in the administrative section of the building. Safety is the number one element of the KidsPeace Model of Care, and this incident demonstrates that we take the safety of our children and associates very seriously. All of the children at KidsPeace are safe, unharmed and participating in their daily summer counseling sessions and activities.
We want to extend a special thank you to all of the local businesses, referral sources, community members and religious organizations that have reached out to offer support and assistance to our organization. We truly appreciate each and every overture and we are thankful to have such an extended network of support to help us as we help those in our care.
President and CEO