Fire fails to stop work at GRACE in Grapevine after blaze destroys medical clinic

The windows have holes in them. Charred debris clutters the floor. And, many chairs at GRACE Food Pantry and Medical Clinic are burned.

But volunteers and staff at GRACE were seeing patients Thursday, but they were at the First Baptist Church Grapevine.

A fire Wednesday night destroyed GRACE‘s faith-based community clinic and smoke caused damage to the center‘s food pantry.

“The clinic is a total loss,” GRACE executive director Shonda Schaefer said Thursday in a telephone interview. “But patients showed up at 9:30 a.m. so we had to come up with a temporary place.”

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That place was the First Baptist Church Grapevine, and GRACE volunteers and staff plan to be there Friday and provide assistance to patients.

“We still will need a semi-permanent place for the clinic,” Schaefer said.

Residents also will be able to pick up some food at GRACE at 610 Shady Brook Drive.

“Health department officials will tell us what we will be able to use from the food pantry,” Schaefer said. “That area suffered smoke and water damage.”

No workers or firefigtters were injured in the blaze, which was reported just after 10 p.m. Wednesday at GRACE‘s, a nonprofit organization in Northeast Tarrant County.

A cooking class ended at 8 p.m. Wednesday, and staff and volunteers had left the building.

Firefighters responded to a report of the smell of smoke in the 800 block of East Texas Street, but they were unable to locate a fire at that location.

Minutes later, they found a building on fire at 837 E. Walnut Street, and most of the blaze was in the community clinic.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in minutes.

The cause of the fire was under investigation on Thursday, fire officials said.

GRACE officials encouraged residents to call before arriving at the temporary clinic or food pantry.

It is the second major fire at GRACE since 2015. set a fire in February 2015 and destroyed half the donations to the organization.

Two suspects were later arrested and sentenced.

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Several people were taken to local hospitals after a vehicle crashed into a house in Hurst and caused it to burst into flames. Courtesy/Clyde Driskell

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: ,