Quick action limits damage to Woodstock's new food bank

·1 min read

Quick action by a passerby and the Woodstock Fire Department early Monday evening, July 11, helped to douse a small fire that threatened the expansive new Valley Food Bank in Woodstock.

Firefighters managed to limit damage to a small section of the newly built wooden front deck leading to the building's front entrance.

They arrived on time to limit damage thanks to the keen eye of Amy Killam as she headed along Houlton Street around 6 p.m. while taking her daughter to soccer.

Killam, who works for Valley Refrigeration, said she is familiar with the shining new food bank complex as her company did a lot of work there as it prepared to open.

Killam said she knew they were building a new deck on the front, so she glanced that way to see how it looked. She saw the deck, but she also saw smoke rising from it.

"That doesn't look right," she thought to herself.

Killam turned around, checked again, and without hesitation, called 911.

Woodstock firefighters and police responded immediately to the scene. Fire crews doused the growing flames under the deck before they reached the building.

In addition to pouring water through the wooden platform, firefighters cut away part of the structure to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.

The Valley Food Bank moved to the spacious new headquarters in late 2021, enhancing its ability to provide additional services to the region's struggling families.

In addition to the storage and delivery of food to clients, the new building houses Brighter Days Boutique, a used clothing store, a kitchen, and plenty of room to provide cooking and other classes for parents.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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