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A grease fire at a family shelter in Durham caused the shelter and staff offices to be evacuated and displaced two families Friday morning, the development director at Families Moving Forward said.

Fire crews were called to the shelter located in the 300 block of North Queen Street just after 8 a.m. in response to a structure fire. Crews arriving on scene reported a two-story residential structure fire with no flames or smoke visible, officials said.

According to Durham fire officials, the fire occurred in the kitchen was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system. Two of the shelter’s rooms suffered water damage and the families in those rooms were moved to new rooms, Shana Carignan with FMF said.


Families in the shelter will not have access to the kitchen for the time being and the electricity is off on that side of the building.

At least 12 families no longer have power for their refrigerators and Carignan asked the community to consider making grocery store gift card donations for the families impacted.

The organization said that RISE Biscuits and Donuts, Domino’s Pizza and Urban Ministries of Durham have all donated food to the shelter. Carignan said they’re still learning the full extent of the damage.

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