RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An explosion and fire at a south Raleigh community center has left dozens of families without specialized developmental learning this summer.
With students and staff away on Sunday, a gas leak at Wake County’s Crosby-Garfield led to an explosion, rocking the entire neighborhood.
The building is home to the Learning Together Center on East Lenoir Street, that teaches anywhere between 50-70 kids year-round.
“Scary, but it really put things into perspective (of) how lucky we were that it really did happen on a Sunday, not when children were here,” center director Charles Skeeter said.
Additionally, the center’s director of development, Mary Kay Kennedy, said half of the students have some form of developmental delay.
“We do speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy,” Kennedy said. “There are things they’re (not) going to get if they go to any other place. This is not like they can just pick up their kids and take them somewhere else for the summer.”
The center has already been in the works to expand services at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in the fall. Those classes will still go on, but not until then.
“We can adapt pretty quickly for the school year. But for the summer, we’re going to have to scramble a little bit to find a place for these families to go,” Kennedy said.
As for cleanup, daycare officials are working with Wake County, but do not have a timeline to reopen.
Emily Dawson’s daughter attends the learning center and said her family has to adjust their day-to-day plans with her daughter now at home.
“We’re just taking It one day at a time,” Dawson said. “All the teachers are like family to us. We’re just so grateful for this place and it feels hard and sad that it’s not a possibility right now.”