Staff and clients of local rehab center say fire won’t stop their mission
Staff and Clients of a rehabilitation center in Madisonville are coming together after a fire Saturday burnt down multiple buildings on the campus.
House of Hope was founded 10 years ago. It is a fully immersive one-year rehab program for men.
Firefighters responded just before 1:00 a.m. to the House of Hope on W. Trinity Street near Casey Street.
Shane Scofield has been in the program for five months and recalls the fear he felt early on Saturday morning.
"I ran out and was immediately choking on smoke and fumes. The whole building, the whole chapel was engulfed in flames,” said Scofield.
Forty-three men were sleeping in their dorms when the fire erupted. Once they all got out safely, it was time to come together for strength.
"I felt devastated seeing the sanctuary, the gym, and the cafeteria burn. Of course, it brought tears to my eyes but it was tears of hope,” said House of Hope counselor Towanda Webber.
Scofield said it was hard watching his home go up in flames.
"Due to my addiction I have burned all the bridges in my life,” said Scofield. “This is the only place I have to go. It’s this place or a homeless shelter. So for me, to come outside and see my home burning, there is no backup plan.”
The cause of the fire is unknown but investigators believe it may have started in the back of the gym on the property and quickly spread to other parts of the facility.
There is extensive damage reported but the 43 men housed at the facility were not injured, according to Madisonville's police chief.
Now, all that’s left is ashes, damaged dorms, and a wooden cross that wasn’t touched by the fire.
The organization says even during one of its hardest times, they know they can come together to build their walls of faith back up.
"This is all we have, and so I know the community will come together and we will see beauty come from these ashes," said Scofield.
Midway and North Zulch Fire Departments also responded to the scene overnight for mutual-aid. The fire also rekindled early Saturday morning where the gym roof collapsed.
to see more images from the scene of the fire. A caption on the organization's Facebook page says "The Cross still stands! God is good and faithful!!".
The House of House has already established a
The organization has also posted the following information on
Many of you have asked what you can do. We are in need of twin size mattresses, bedding, hygiene supplies, men's clothes and men's underwear and socks. If you have these items please drop them off at the 1st Baptist Church (on the backside of the gym) in Madisonville until 6:00 p.m. today (11/9) or Monday-Friday from 8:00-5:00. You may call the House of Hope at 936-245-2896 or Brock Construction at 936-348-1662 or Linda McKenzie at 936-661-5754. Thank you and God bless!