Just hours after fire gutted a Nashville foundation for disadvantaged kids Monday, the daughter of its founder says the devastation "is not the end, it's a roadblock." Allison Patton spoke for her father, who started the William Patton, Jr. Foundation that bears his name. She said his vision is to help young adults from ages 18 to 21 learn construction trades from "plumbing to painting."
The fire broke out around 6:20 a.m. Monday at the Patton Foundation, which sits on Fisk Avenue just off Jo Johnston Avenue in north Nashville.
The smoke fire was so thick firefighters at a nearby station could see it billowing as they responded to the scene.
"It's just a total loss for me, my family and my dad," the younger Patton told Nashville's News 2 as she stood in the blackened entrance to the foundation.
"He helped out so much out in the community," she added while showing how he rebuilt a former crack house for his foundation.
With its own construction business and other small companies, the Patton family has been building and rebuilding places around Nashville for decades, often showing the young adults how its done.
Now, faced with the charred insides of its own foundation, it's the family that must rebuild.
"We may have to tear the building down, we don't know what will happen once the insurance comes out," said Patton, who vowed that her family will carry on with the foundation's mission. Firefighters had the flames extinguished within 20 minutes. They are credited with keeping the fire from a second Patton family building just a few feet away.
The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, but family members believe it started in an electrical panel.