“That area of the building is not part of the future plans for the building, so any damage is not a problem,” Director Tim Hodge said in an e-mail to board members and staff of the free clinic.
The fire occurred around 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Engel Building, a former furniture store on 19th Street adjacent to Town Creek. According to Hodge, a city employee noticed the smoke and immediately notified the Jasper Fire Department.
Hodge said the fire originated from a mattress brought in by someone trespassing on the property.
Jasper Fire Capt. David Lockhart told the Eagle on Wednesday that the fire did little damage to the structure.
Hodge said the building received smoke damage and the floor was charred in the immediate vicinity of the mattress.
“(The Jasper Fire Department) did an incredible job in extinguishing the fire and limiting the damage,” Hodge said.
Hodge said the portion of the building where the fire took place will not be used in the future site of the clinic and will ultimately be torn down.
Several Hope Clinic officials expressed gratitude for the outpouring of concern from the community.
Hope Clinic opened in 2006 and has provided more than $10 million in services to the uninsured of Walker County. The free medical center provides treatment, medicine and medical equipment to patients suffering from chronic medical condition such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
For more information about the clinic, call 205-302-0011.