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Fire at Tallahassee's Largest Homeless Shelter

The fire didn't cause any major damage, but there was concern over whether residents would be able to stay the night or be forced to explore other options.

At 2:40 p.m. Monday, firefighters responded to a call at the shelter.

The good news, only a few staff workers and roof maintenance workers were around at the time.

They all made it out safely, but for a few hours sleeping arrangements for dozens of homeless men, women, and children were in jeopardy.

Mel Eby, director of the shelter, said, "We were having a new roof put on the building, and apparently there was some problem with some hot tar and the tools or something."

Grant Slayden, president of the board, said, "I've been associated with the shelter about 10 years now and we've never had a fire here before. In fact, we've recently spent quite a bit of money up grading the fire alarm system we have."

On average, the shelter takes in about 175 men, women and children a night.

On Sunday night, they took in a record 206 people.

In terms of a plan B, if things had not turned out so well, Eby says he would have sought assistance from other community organizations, churches and even used motel rooms if need be.


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