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Liberty House business office devastated by fire

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- The staff at Liberty House are without a home this week after an electrical fire crippled the nonprofit's business office on Pine Avenue Sunday afternoon, said Liberty House Executive Director Silke Deely.

According to Deely, the electrical fire began in the building's basement and raged through all three stories.

"Thankfully, no one was hurt," she said.

The fire destroyed nearly all of the facility's offices and sensitive files. Computers, phones and other electronics have been rendered useless.

"All of us are doing our best right now with our cell phones," said Deely. "We don't have anything. Everything is down, and all of our papers have soot and ash all over them."

While the main phone line to the charity is down, the Liberty House crisis line is still open.

The building suffered extensive interior damage to its floors, and many are now unsafe to walk on. The basement also has been flooded with water.

"We are still in the midst of sorting everything out," Deely said Tuesday afternoon. "The insurance agency is expected to come tomorrow."

Deely said she is unsure of the exact amount of damage.

"It's a lot," she said. "It's estimated that we have six to 12 months before the building is habitable again."

Deely said the fire came as a shock to the nonprofit financially.

"We weren't prepared for it," she said. "As a nonprofit, you are basically going month by month. We can't even pay our bills now."

Deely said the organization is in desperate need of funding and donations to try and get the business office functioning again.

"We are also going to need a place that's functional," she said. "We are without a home now. We can't operate out of the building like it is now."

The Liberty House asks those in the community who wish to help with a monetary donation or with available office space to call (229) 439-7065.