After-school ministry fire being investigated in Paragould

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – A Paragould after-school center went up in flames Monday night leaving a lot of damage behind.

The Paragould Fire Department is still investigating a fire that happened at Acts: 5:39, an after-school ministry in east Paragould. Paragould police said no one was injured.


"We know someone, someway somehow is going to find a placefor us to continue our ministry," said Chris Cowart, executive director of Acts 5:39. "We have every intention to continue to feed andhelp the kids that we are ministering to and their families."

A local ministry needs a helping hand. Cowart said most of the fire was contained in the attic.

"There are lots of holes in the roof and there is a lot ofwater and smoke damage inside the building," he said. 

So what's next for the ministry? Cowart said they are stilltrying to figure that out.

"We are still looking but we know Godhas a plan for us," Cowart said.

Acts 5:39 is a non-profit Christian ministry that providesmeals, clothes and homework help to kids in the community.

"There are a lot of problems and family issues that a lot of our families arestruggling with  and just the fact thatwe're here that we love them and that we care about them," he said.

Cowart said this ministry is doing what they can to serve aneed.

"We also have a benevolence program where we give out clothingto kids and families in need, every once in awhile we can pay a light bill asour finances allow us to," he said. 

Paragould Fire Chief Kevin Lang said the call went out just before9:00 p.m. and they had someone on the scene within minutes.

"There actually were multiple ceilings in the building, that'sa pretty old building and it had a lot of additions and renovations to it," Lang said.

He said it appears the fire started in the attic.

"My preliminary guesswould be something electrical, we've not found anything else that would lead usin another direction at this time but we are still looking at it," Lang told Region 8 News.

Acts 5:39 has been serving the Paragould community for over2 years on a volunteer basis. Cowart said they will do everything they can toraise the money to repair the building. 

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