Fire claimed three buildings, including a clothing pantry, at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Bladen County Wednesday.
Southeastern Carolina Crossroads is a faith-based residential rehabilitation program located at the former Eckerd Youth Camp near White Lake. Crossroads serves the entire Cape Fear region. It is funded through donations, grants and revenues generated by work done by Crossroads clients.
Rev. Kincy Barrow said a maintenance building, storage barn and the clothing pantry were destroyed in the blaze. Only one of the buildings had power, he said.
“We don’t know what happened,” Barrow said. “All our guys were accounted for, and they’re okay.”
Bladen County Fire Marshall Rusty Marsh said the fire’s cause is unknown, but is under investigation.
Two lawn mowers and some tools that were lost may be covered by insurance, Barrow said, but the destruction of the clothing storage was a bitter blow.
“We have guys who come in here with less than the shirts on their backs,” he said. “We have others that bring too much, but most come in here with little or nothing.”
Crossroads clients work at the facility in addition to their therapy. Some do yard work, while others are part of a pine straw harvesting business that helps support the center. Some need clothing for job interviews and court dates after they graduate the program.
Work clothes and shoes are top priorities, Barrow said. The facility has a source for new underwear and socks, but everyday clothing is needed.
“We need clean, used men’s clothing in all sizes,” Barrow said. “This is our most critical need right now.”
In Bladen County, the Bladen Baptist Association is accepting donations for Crossroads at its Elizabethtown office. Columbuscountynews.com is also collecting men’s clothing for the center. The CCN office is located at 1015 S. Madison St., Whiteville. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Crossroads can be reached by calling 910.549.8487. For more information, log on to their website at secarolinacrossroads.com.