Valley of Fire

Flames reduce House of Hope facility to ash, but recovery work continues

Posted 11/12/19

House of Hope, a faith-based recovery facility in Madisonville, saw a large dormitory housing of men largely devastated by a fire in the early hours of Saturday morning. The blaze left the location in shambles but resulted in no one hurt.

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Valley of Fire

Flames reduce House of Hope facility to ash, but recovery work continues

Posted

House of Hope, a faith-based recovery facility in Madisonville, saw a large dormitory housing of men largely devastated by a fire in the early hours of Saturday morning. The blaze left the location in shambles but resulted in no one hurt.

“It was a miracle there were not injuries,” said owner and operator Brad Brock. “The smoke was in the dorms and the men were sound asleep. A concerned citizen called when they saw the smoke and the fire.

“The police got out there and started knocking on the doors, waking our men up, and that is how they got out alive.”

The Madisonville Police Department arrived on scene following the call, along with the volunteer fire departments of Madisonville, Midway and North Zulch. The fire spread through the lower of two House of Hope housing units, known by residents as the “Valley.”

The fire reignited Tuesday morning, causes some further damage.

“We were notified at 12:57 a.m. of heavy smoke and fire at the House of Hope,” said Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Thom Jones. “We responded with two engines and upon our arrival, the gym area was fully engulfed in fire. It was too big to put out, so our basic goal was to stop any further damage.

We set up protective lines between the dorms and the gym to protect the dorms, and on the backside, we set up lines to protect the church behind it.”

The Valley dorms still stand, but included in the damage were the brand new classrooms, washing machines, dryers, showers, the storage area, a walk-in cooler and a hard freezer. The other facility, known as the “Hill,” will house all residents for the time being.

The House of Hope had 45 residents at the time of the incident, but the organization can house up to 65 individuals at a given time. Residents are usually in four- or five-men rooms, though after the fire, each available bedroom will host six residents.

House of Hope offers a one-year program serving as an intense rehabilitation process that strives to assist residents with their addictions through the word of God.

More steeped in Christian belief than the more common Alcoholics Anonymous program, the House of Hope still offers two AA meetings each week and uses the 12 Steps model of recovery.”

“It’s Jesus first,” Brock said. “Then we do the 12 steps.”

The Hill facility has typically been reserved for those who have been in the program for more than six months. No residents were asked to leave due to overpopulation. In fact, the organization is still taking new members. There are currently a number of residents scheduled to graduate from the program soon, which will open more room to accommodate new members in the remaining house on the hill.

The cause of the fire has not been determined and is still under investigation. Brock had a chance to look back on the aerial security tapes on Monday.

“You could slowly see the smoke coming from where the washer and dryer area was up front,” said Brock. “There was no suspicious activity or anything like that. We have no insurance, so there is no monetary gain whatsoever to speak of.”

The House of Hope opened in 2009 and is notorious for their assistance around the county during community events.

“House of Hope serves the community and has been doing so for 10 years,” said Brock. “Every organization calls us and we are there for them. The community is reaching out and giving back, which is sometimes hard because we are so used to giving.”

Brock was overwhelmed by the support the organization received from the community in the aftermath of the fire. He would also like to single out the law enforcement officials and first responders who came to their aid.

Following the clean-up process, the organization and board will meet to decide next steps from there. They are currently in the rebuilding process but will remain open to residents at their other location.

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