When firefighters responded to a call Thursday night, they initially thought they were trying to save an abandoned building.
When they arrived on the scene, Meridian firefighters discovered flames jumping out of The Salvation Army warehouse. The organization known for helping fire victims became a fire victim itself.
"We had quite a few people on the scene last night and our Public Works crew helped clear out some of the debris that you see here behind you," said Chief Tim Miller of the Meridian Fire Department.
That debris is all that remains of the contents of the warehouse. It was used to store clothing items that were designated for recycling, torn or damaged items which are either donated to projects in Third World countries or which are sold to textile factories for use as rags or towels.
The profits brought in by selling the items could have been as much as $4,000 to $6,000. That would have been more money to be used to help this community.
At this point, it's all considered a total loss. The building and its equipment were insured, but insurance will not cover donated items. The items in the warehouse were set for pick-up by a textile company Thursday morning, a trip that had to be rescheduled.
"I'm thankful that there was no one here and no one got hurt and we still have the thrift store. That's the good part," said Salvation Army commander, Maj. Susan McClure.