Fire damages DFCS office

A state agency in Augusta is looking for a temporary home after a fire early Monday damaged its office building downtown.

 

The fire heavily damaged the first floor of the offices of the Richmond County Department of Family and Children Services, 520 Fenwick St.

The agency hopes to determine where it will set up temporary shop in the next day or two, spokeswoman Susan Boatwright said.

“It’s not going to be a terribly long time, but it is going to be a few weeks, I think, before the building can be occupied,” she said.

The agency had staffers at its damaged offices Monday directing people who came by and was answering the main number and handling eligibility programs such as food stamps by phone, which it normally does anyway, Boatwright said.

Calls to Child Protective Services go to a central number and are dispatched accordingly, she said.

The fire was reported at 4:41 a.m. Monday as a burglar alarm call that went to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, said Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin. The deputy who responded noticed smoke and had dispatchers call the fire department, she said.

The first floor of the building was “heavily damaged,” Griffin said. The fire and its cause are still under investigation, she said.

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Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213

or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

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