WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ)– Flames engulf a historic landmark dedicated to helping those in need in Carroll County. More than 100 crews responded to the scene in Westminster.

Weijia Jiang has more on what they’re doing now to rebuild.

The amount of debris is devastating. Now, an entire community is pulling together.

It only took a few hours for a fire to demolish a Carroll County landmark.

“The barn was engulfed in flames. It was a big fireball. As I walked closer, it was gut-wrenching,” Pastor Dean Waddell of the Westminster Rescue Mission said.

That’s because the century-old barn now reduced to rubble was also a vital piece of the present.

It housed donations for the Westminster Rescue Mission for Men and a thrift store that raised money to operate the shelter.

But the flames which broke out around 9:45 p.m. on Friday ripped through the building and caused the roof to collapse.

“The stuff that was falling into the foundation continued to burn. At that point, there’s not a lot we can do to salvage,” said Robin Stansbury of the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department.

Not only did the barn help the men at the mission but revenue collected went toward food boxes for families all over Carroll County, as well as vouchers for clothing and furniture.

“I got my walker, I got my canes from here. It’s a shame,” Ellen Earhart, a Westminster resident, said.

“We have a long list of people that have a lot of needs and it’s all gone now,” Mill Dixon of Westminster said.

Dixon and her husband live next door and worked at the thrift store.

“We put our heart and soul into it,” Thomas Dixon said.

Now, it’s heart that gives them hope. You see, the fire happened on Good Friday.

“The day we celebrate Christ’s death,” Pastor Waddell said.

Waddell, who runs the mission, is ready for a new day.

“We know Sunday’s coming– his resurrection– and so we’re looking forward to that to see what God’s going to do to help us build,” he said.

To that end, the mission’s organizers are working with insurance adjusters to first remove all the debris, then work out a plan to rebuild. In the meantime, they are still accepting donations, which are more critical than ever.

The state fire marshal’s office has not determined the cause of the fire.

Please send donations to:

Westminster Rescue Mission
658 Lucabaugh Mill Road
Westminster, Md. 21157


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