Preliminary investigation shows the fire was caused by faulty wiring of a brand new heating system installed for the additional comfort of the Goodwill employees in the donation warehouse. Thousands of clothing and household items were damaged during the fire, which broke out around 10 a.m.
The sprinkler system performed on cue and saved the store. The Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department responded promptly to the call, and all Goodwill employees escaped safely before the first firefighter arrived.
Jim Stiff, the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, was on site to encourage the staff who are cleaning up the damaged items and beginning to make repairs.
“We are working very hard to reopen this Goodwill retail store later today, and we have already reopened the donation center along with Good Books Cafe,” he said. “Goodwill is confident that loyal donors across the CSRA will clean out their closets and donate items to Goodwill in order to help us rebuild inventory and continue to advance our life-changing mission.”
Goodwill needs your help to replace damaged donated goods to help underwrite Goodwill’s critical job training and placement programs. The organization asks people to clean their closets of clothing and household items and drive them to a nearby donation center, which can be found at goodwillworks.org. Tax deductible monetary donations can be mailed to: Goodwill Works Foundation, P.O. Box 212668, Augusta, GA 30917.
“Our trainees depend on all of our businesses to operate in order to receive job training services and a paycheck,” Stiff said. “We are grateful to God that no Goodwill employee or trainee was hurt during the fire. We now need community support via donations of money and household items.”