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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Fire at a daycare

  • The McPherson Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service personnel responded to a fire around noon Friday at Kids Come First, a daycare at 900 E. First St.
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  • The McPherson Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service personnel responded to a fire around noon Friday at Kids Come First, a daycare at 900 E. First St.
    No children, staff members or firefighters were injured at the daycare, which accepts children from 2 weeks to 12 years.
    Shandi Swaim, director, said staff members first saw flames in an electric oven. It was soon unplugged, but smoke was still coming from the ceiling and filling the kitchen with smoke.
    All children, about 70, were safely evacuated from the building and relocated to a building next door.
    Swaim said construction workers from First Street were very helpful in the process.
    "Those men completely shut down, came in here, grabbed babies, offered water," she said. "Awesome.
    They were very helpful."
    The daycare had a fire drill once a month and followed the evacuation plan Friday.
    "The kids did pretty good," she said. "That's a lot of lives you got to worry about. It got smoky in here, but we got everybody out. "
    Swaim said after the group was outside, she went back into make sure they didn't miss anyone.
    "Then I was like, 'OK, that's enough, I can't breathe in here," she said.
    The fire was out by the time firefighters arrived, but the smoke had damaged a significant amount of the attic. A gas crew came to determine if the cause was a gas leak, but left after that possibility was ruled out.
    As of 3 p.m., Rick Unruh of the McPherson Fire Department said a source of the fire had not been determined. He ruled out the oven as the source of the fire, and said damage was most prevalent between the ceiling and the installation of the building.
    "It makes me sad," Swaim said. "Everything could have been gone. I put seven years into this and it makes me sick. I love my business and I love my kids. I love what I do every day."
    The day care will open at an alternative location in McPherson on Monday, but the location is not yet known. Swaim estimated it to be at least a month before they could return to the East First location.
    Parents will be informed of the temporary location when it is determined. They may call her at 245-7485 or Chris at 755-7299 for more information about this change.
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