Non-profit children's ministry displaced by Maryville fire

7:59 PM, Sep 10, 2012   |    comments
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When Missy Johnson saw her office building Monday morning, she says she started to pray.

An early morning fire badly damaged the Law Building near Downtown Maryville.

For about a year, Johnson has been working for non-profit Kingdom Design Ministries out of a basement office.

"We do dream room make-overs for children who've experienced some devastation," said Johnson.

Firefighters estimate between 80,000-100,000 gallons of water rained down on the building as they tried for hours to extinguish all the hot spots. 

It was enough water to fill the 20-foot-deep basement.

"I feel sure that everything we have is a total loss. And we did not have insurance," said Johnson.

Firefighters got the call around 5 a.m. after an alarm went off in an electrical closet on the top floor of the building.

They thought they had it out, according to Deputy Chief David Hodges, but the flames had already gotten in to the historic building's walls and attic.

The fire displaced about 14 businesses in total.

"Ironically enough our next project was for a little boy named Carson Walker," said Johnson. "His father is actually one of the Alcoa fire chiefs."

It's a devastating setback, but Johnson is intent on looking past the smoke to find her silver lining.

"I believe the Lord can bring good out of this. Not just for us, but for everyone in the building," she said.

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