Clean up begins at fire damaged early learning center

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POSTED: Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 7:34pm

Members of the YWCA Istrouma Early Head Start community began cleaning up Sunday after a fire destroyed part of their building.

Baton Rouge Fire Department investigators say it happened around 6:45 Saturday night in the 4600 block of Winbourne Avenue. They say the fire started in a classroom and spread to the attic. No one was injured.

A spokesman for the Early Head Start program says the program will reopen once the building is repaired, but that could take months to complete.

"It's extremely important to get up and running," said Charlotte Provenza with YWCA Istrouma Early Head Start. "For everyday that we don't operate this child development center it means parents are missing high school and missing work. The babies developmental career is stopped. For this to happen and interrupt and interfere with people trying to pull themselves out of poverty and provide for their children, I think it's just debilitating."

Investigators say the building suffered around $180,000 in damages. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Parents can call 225-355-4461 for the latest on the program.

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