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Dryer fire at Groundworks displaces shelter operations

No injuries reported, but building sustains heavy smoke damage

Groundworks Collaborative is the organization formed three years ago with the merger of the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center and Morningside Shelter. Groundworks provides food, shelter, and supportive services to families and individuals facing a full continuum of housing and food insecurities in the greater Brattleboro area.

BRATTLEBORO—Twenty residents at Groundworks Shelter (formerly Morningside Shelter) were displaced on Sept. 10, after a small fire broke out in a clothes dryer.

No one was hurt, but the noontime fire resulted in extensive smoke damage to the Royal Road shelter.

According to a news release, Groundworks’ staff mobilized quickly and temporarily relocated residents of the shelter to the dormitory that is used for the winter warming shelter on the Winston Prouty (formerly Austine School) campus.

The relocation could last for up to two weeks while a thorough cleaning of Groundworks Shelter takes place.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross arrived on site within 15 minutes of the first alarm and provided lunch and support for residents throughout the transition to the temporary shelter location. The Red Cross will continue to provide meals and support to residents, and will be reaching out to the community for help to do so.

Groundworks says it will compile a wish list for needed items and post the list to the Groundworks Facebook Page over the next few days.

Anyone interested in volunteering to assist with overnight supervision of the shelter can email

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Originally published in The Commons issue #476 (Wednesday, September 12, 2018). This story appeared on page A4.

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