10/15/04 — YMCA keeps door open but closes locker rooms

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YMCA keeps door open but closes locker rooms

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 15, 2004 1:59 PM

Life is back to normal at the Goldsboro Family YMCA, except the members can't take showers.

At least, not at the Y.

John Richards, YMCA executive director, said all of the members he has talked to have been supportive and thankful that a fire Thursday morning didn't cause worse damage.

An electrical problem caused a fire to break out in the sauna in the men's locker room.

The hall to both the men's and the women's locker rooms are closed indefinitely.

Richards said the Y's insurance company sent specialists in to remove smoke odors Thursday morning. They arrived around 11 a.m. and went to work.

The air is getting better, he said.

"The insurance will take care of all the expenses," he said. "We're very fortunate."

He doesn't know how long it will take before the hall to the lockers will reopen. The insurance adjuster told Richards there's too much smoke damage for a crew to start cleaning up in the ceiling. It will be at least a couple of weeks before anybody can safely climb into the four-foot-high area between the ceiling tiles and the insulation to clean it.

"We have to get a handle on the structural damage," he said. "Some steel was melted."

Everybody seems in a state of shock, he said. Nobody ever thinks something like this is going to happen to them.

Fire officials credit an alert cleaning crew member with saving the Y from even more damage by closing the door to the hall before they went outside and called 911. Assistant Fire Chief Ray Boyette said that contained the fire, which was caused by either an electrical failure or a wall-mounted heating unit in the sauna being too close to the wood.