YMCA officials plan to rebuild after Labor Day fire
NAPLES, Fla.- A fire destroyed portions of the Naples YMCA on Labor Day. The charred debris inside still smells of smoke a day later. The ground is saturated from the water firefighters used to battle the flames.
"Doesn't look like a total destruction, but the fitness center, gym, locker rooms are definitely of serious concern," said Paul Thein, President/CEO of the YMCA.
Fox 4 cameras were allowed inside to see the areas damaged by the water like the lobby. Other parts were off limits on Tuesday morning. Nearly a third of the building is destroyed with the damage estimated at $2 million dollars.
Volunteers and the YMCA's CEO and President remain on scene on Tuesday to notify parents and gym members of the very latest including accommodations.
"We literally did not sleep last night putting together a plan."
YMCA members can now use any of Collier County's fitness centers along with the other facilities while the Y is being rebuilt.
"NCH Wellness Center also reached out to our members and they'll be able to use those sites," said Thein.
The YMCA also provides child care services to families. Portables will be brought in to accommodate more than 60 kids who can no longer use the YMCA's facility. The Gaynor Center and child care services remain open. The next step is to assess the damage and rebuild which will take a community effort.
A disaster relief fund has been set up at First National Bank of the Gulf Coast to assist with repairs.
Investigators believe lightning caused the fire, but are waiting on an official cause from the state fire marshal.