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Weekend fire damages children’s home

FARMINGTON — Residents in one building located on the campus of Presbyterian’s Children’s home in Farmington have been relocated to another building on campus following a fire at the facility over the weekend.

According to Farmington Fire Chief Todd Mecey, the department was dispatched at 9:32 p.m. Saturday for a fire at the Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services, located at 608 Pine Street.

Smoke was visible when crews first arrived on the scene three minutes after the call.

The fire was contained to one area and was extinguished within a matter of minutes. However, Mecey said, the building sustained water damage due to the sprinkler system. The building’s electrical system was also affected.

The state fire marshal ruled the fire as accidental. Mecey explained a fire department is required to call the state fire marshal  for a fire occurring at a state-inspected residential facility.

Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services Director Robert Giegling said residents displaced by the damage have been relocated to cottages located elsewhere on the campus.

Giegling said Karen Mell, director of the Farmington campus, hoped to have the boys who were living in one wing of the damaged building back in their rooms as soon as today, pending approval by the building inspection office and the fire marshal.

The girls portion of the building received the most damage.

At the time of the fire, Giegling said, he received a call from Mell telling him the evacuation of the residents went “really smooth.” He commended the Farmington staff for their work.

“It’s nice to know that things you train on — which you hope you don’t have to do — really worked,” Giegling said.

Fire crews remained on the scene until 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Assisting on the call were Doe Run, Wolf Creek and Park Hills fire departments.

Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor for the Farmington Press and a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached by calling 573-756-8927 or

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