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Albion pantry damaged in fire, seeks help

A fire in an apartment above the Central Noble Food Pantry in Albion on Sunday afternoon caused the ceiling to collapse and water damage to the pantry and some of the pantry’s food products.

The heaviest damage was in the back of the building where food is stored, said pantry President Bonnie Brownell.

Once the fire was extinguished, local volunteers, Albion town officials and the Albion Fire Department spent the afternoon and evening moving what could be salvaged to temporary quarters in a break room at the Albion Town Hall, 211 E. Park Drive. The pantry will be open at the temporary site from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Fridays, its regular hours.

A lot of food was lost, Brownell said, but the fire department was able to move three freezers filled with meat to the temporary location.

Brownell said she also called in the health department to make sure all salvaged food is still good for distribution.

Brownell said she has about six volunteers who will wash down all the canned goods with water and bleach.

It’s not clear whether the building where the pantry was housed can be salvaged. Brownell said the roof of the building had to be removed in the process of fighting the fire.

One of the biggest challenges will be finding a new permanent home, she said.

Brownell has asked that anyone willing to help restore the pantry with donations of food, money or labor can contact her at 260-564-8160.

The pantry serves 60 to 80 families a week.