A fire Wednesday night in downtown Minneapolis heavily damaged a building where hundreds go each day to get a free meal.
Crews found a heavy fire coming from the roof of House of Charity's Food Centre near the intersection of 7th Street and S. Park Avenue when they arrived about 10:30 p.m., the Minneapolis Fire Department said.
"It's a difficult time for us," said Paul Verrette, the charity's director of advancement and community engagement. "It's devastating."
No one was injured in the fire that was believed to have started in the furnace room, Verrette said.
The kitchen serves three meals a day to people who live in the charity's emergency shelters and a housing complex on nearby 8th Street. It also serves a daily lunch for needy members of the public.
A food shelf serving up to 100 people a week also was impacted by the fire, Verrette said.
"We are committed to continuing the service," he said.
While the Food Centre across the street from Hennepin County Medical Center remains closed, Verrette said it is hoping to keep meal service going by using a kitchen at First Covenant Church. On Thursday, Loaves and Fishes brought food for those living in House of Charity shelters.
Catholic Charities said it was preparing to help where needed.