Timothy House Fire Caused $15,000 In Damages

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Following a fire that caused an estimated $15,000 in damages, the Good Works Timothy House is asking for help in raising funds to cover its insurance deductible.

Firefighters responded to 91 Central Avenue Monday afternoon after a fire was reported in the laundry room of the Timothy House. According to Athens Fire Department Chief Robert Rymer, the fire likely started due to a buildup of lint in the exhaust of the dryer. He estimated $15,000 in damages and said both the washer and dryer were totaled. The room itself sustained damage as well.

Founder and Executive Director Keith Wasserman sent out a letter Monday evening detailing the incident. In it, Wasserman said trying to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher did not work so the fire department was called and arrived within minutes.

"The damage to the laundry room/downstairs bathroom is extensive and this room is unusable. In addition, there is significant smoke and soot damage throughout the entire facility. The electric and gas has been shut off and the house is not able to operate at this time," Wasserman wrote.

No one was injured in the fire.

According to Wasserman's letter, the insurance coverage has a high deductible of $5,000 for property and $5,000 on contents so funds are being raised to help cover the cost of repairing the damage and cleaning the building.

Ten residents were living at the Timothy House on Monday and three people without a home were expected to join. The residents have be moved temporarily to the Good Works Hannah House property on Luhrig Road but it "is not designed to accomodate people experiencing homelessness on an emergency basis." Hannah House, Wasserman explains, is home to year-long interns, residents in our Life in Transition Program and guests who come to participate in work retreats.

"We are simply going to do the best we can in this situation," he wrote. "We have made a temporary adjustment to the Hannah House facility but it is not our view that this could work for more than a short period of time … Our intention is to open up the Timothy House again as soon as possible."

Donations can be made online at or P.O. Box 4, Athens, Ohio, 45710. All donations will be directed towards the fire damage and repair costs and any extra funds received will be directed to the ongoing operating costs of the Timothy House.

Timothy House provides 150 to 225 people with an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 nights of shelter each year.