“I’m speechless:” Fire destroys daycare center, officials believe it was intentionally set

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A child development center went up in flames early Sunday, April 26th. Firefighters were called to the area of 49th and Chambers just after 2:00 a.m., and officials say this fire may have been intentionally set.

"It`s just heartbreaking," Caiyle Grant, owner and administrator of "Creative Minds Child Development Center" said.

"I'm just speechless. I can't believe somebody would put a daycare on fire -- to go in there and intentionally set it," Christine Clark, director of "Creative Minds Child Development Center" said.

Daycare center suspicious fire

Daycare center suspicious fire

Officials say this fire is suspicious because crews found multiple starting points. The blaze consumed the first and second floors and the attic.

"We have about 18 families that were affected," Clark said.

Clark says she and Grant are now trying to figure out how to move forward.

"I called each and every parent. They are upset and crying. They don`t know where to take their children (Monday). We are all devastated," Clark said.

"It's devastating because we worked so hard to have something positive for our children in our neighborhood and our community," Grant said.

On Sunday morning, a restoration crew was on scene trying to determine what could be salvaged.

"It`s a lot of smoke damage, a lot of soot, some holes in the walls, but we will try to put this back together," Ali Gray with Advance Construction Builders said.

Restoring the facility could take some time.

"Usually it takes about 90-100 days to fully restore this," Gray said.

"Pretty much fire damaged. The only thing salvageable is our sign," Grant said.

That means all of the materials needed for the children will have to be replaced.

"Furniture -- chairs, tables -- all of our clothes, the toys, art supplies," Grant said.

Advance Construction Builders is accepting donations for the daycare center. The restoration business is located at 1964 W. Hampton Avenue in Milwaukee. The phone number is: (414) 372-1200.

The investigation to determine what happened in this case and why is ongoing.

We're told one firefighter was slightly hurt while helping to extinguish this blaze.

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