Fire Incident Disrupts Operations at Forks Disaster Relief Hub, Ginger’s Closet

Forks Clothing Bank & Disaster Relief, popularly known as Gingers Closet, faced a setback earlier last week when a fire broke out in the ceiling of its main room due to overheated electrical conduit. The incident, which occurred on a Monday afternoon, prompted a swift response from Clallam County Fire Protection District #1 and has posed challenges for the organization’s ongoing relief efforts.

Layla Rawls, Executive Director of Ginger’s Closet, provided updates on the situation, informing the community of the temporary closure and ongoing repairs. Despite efforts to restore power, safety inspections and rewiring are required before operations can resume fully. Rawls expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support and encouraged the community to stay connected through social media channels.

The impact of the fire extends beyond immediate repairs, with each week of closure resulting in significant financial losses for the organization. With approximately $2,000 of shop income lost per week, funds earmarked for disaster relief, staff wages, and maintenance are affected. To mitigate the financial strain, Gingers Closet has launched a GoFundMe campaign and is accepting donations at First Federal Bank.

Chief Bill Paul of Clallam County Fire Protection District #1 provided insights into the incident, attributing the fire to old wiring in the ceiling conduit. “We hit the spot with water containing an encapsulated agent, and it was controlled quickly,” Paul said. While damage to merchandise was minimal, repairs to the roof and ceiling are necessary. Paul commended the alert response of staff at Ginger’s for recognizing the smell of smoke and some barely detectable wisps of smoke. He took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of smoke detectors even in commercial buildings.

Reflecting on the incident, Chief Paul highlighted the fortunate timing of the fire’s discovery during daylight hours, averting a potential major catastrophe if it had occurred at night. He urged community members to prioritize fire safety and take advantage of free smoke detectors offered in partnership with the Red Cross. To schedule smoke detector installation call the Forks Fire Hall at 360-374-5561. If no answer please leave a message.

As Ginger’s Closet navigates the aftermath of the fire, the organization remains committed to its mission of providing essential support to those in need. A bit of good news …Ginger’s was able to open Saturday afternoon facilitating a mending workshop for community members.