"I am here daily.. It's like my home away from home and I'm just really sad.." Ron Medina has been a member of the Alano Club in Oroville for about seven years now. After going through the 12 step program himself, he is now the club manager and even built the Lifeline Foundation thrift store to raise funds for the organization. But when it went up in flames early Thursday morning, Medina was devastated. "Everything we did in this building went to that building. And without this it's hard to keep our building up."
Firefighters were eventually able to put the fire out, but the building and all its contents are nearly ruined. Lifeline Foundation President Albert Prudhomme says, "It's a pretty big hit.. Yes.. It's a big hit.." A few items were also reportedly missing from the 2nd Chance meeting hall Thursday morning.. After it had been vandalized around the same time of the fire. The items were located nearby, a few hours later, leading investigators to believe someone did this all on purposes. "As we do with every fire, we treat it suspicious until we prove otherwise," says Captain Bud Englund of the Oroville Fire Department.
And so with nearly 150 people and four meetings a day, of drug and alcohol-free therapy groups, the Lifeline Foundation will be searching for ways to recover this devastating loss. Captain Englund says, "It's an important thing to be able to help each other in our community, and so.. It's a sad thing to see a building like that be destroyed.." Prudhomme says, "We're going to need some help if we're going to rebuild; from the community.. We really are."
If you would like to help the lifeline foundation with building clean up or donations for re-construction, you can call the group at 543-9960.