Neighborhood asking for donations to rebuild community center

A community hopes to rebuild after lightning strikes a community center

Fire at old Edgemont Community Center.

DAYTON (WDTN) – Investigators say a lightning strike led to a fire in the attic of a Dayton community center.

Crews responded to a call at the Edgemont Neighborhood Center around 3 a.m. on Monday.

Officials tell 2NEWS they believe the lightning struck the building at around 10:30 Sunday night. It smoldered for around four-hours.

Josh West, a neighbor, noticed the smoke and called 911.

“I ended up seeing through the window that flames were there so I called 911,” West said.

The building holds a special place for West.

“I was little, I saw this building being put up. My grandfathers from 1982 had the Edgemont Solar Garden built.”

Officials were quick to point out that lightning was the probable cause due to the damage done to the wiring and metal on the exterior of the building.

Board members for the Edgemont Neighborhood Center say they were supposed to have a meeting in the building today; however, a building inspector said the structure isn’t safe to go inside.

“This was probably a Godsend,” Ronald Grant said.

Grant has lived in Edgemont for 60 years.

“God is in the rebuilding business. So we’re kind of hoping that’s what is going to happen with this,” he said.

The building was once active with classes nearly 20 years ago; however, a lack of funding has caused the project to stop.

Fire crews are praising West for dialing 911 as soon as he did. They believe it might have saved the exterior of the building.

West is sending his praise elsewhere.

“I wouldn’t call myself a hero. I just think it was divine intervention,” he added, “Hopefully we can come together, donate some money, and help get this place revived.”

A revival–for a community that’s looking up.

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