Wee Care Child Development Center closed due to fire at abandoned home next door

PHOENIX - Wee Care Child Development Center, a non profit in Phoenix, is closed indefinitely due to damage from a fire next door.

About 40 families were forced to make alternate plans because the daycare couldn't take in any children. 

A fire started at an abandoned home at 12th Street and Fillmore around 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

Wee Care director Betty Calderon learned about the fire when her alarm company called. 

The fire did not spread to Wee Care but there was plenty of smoke damage. Calderon called parents and told them not to drop the kids off.

The heat from the fire caused several windows to shatter, and pieces of glass littered the daycare's floor.

Calderon said firefighters had to knock a hole in the ceiling. A heavy smell of smoke permeated the air.

Soot and water covered the kids' playground equipment.

Calderon is not sure how long it will be until they reopen, but she's certain the closure will be hard on families they serve. Most are low income families, she said.

Calderon, along with her staff, spent the morning making phone calls to restoration companies and her insurance company.

"I don't know if I can cover the deductible," Calderon said. "I'm hoping for community support."

Wee Care Child Development Center is located at 1149 E. Fillmore in Phoenix. They can be contacted at 602-579-1110.

For parents caught trying find a daycare facility to watch their children at the last minute, the Arizona Department of Health Services offers AZ Care Check . There parents can search by zip code and location for daycare facilities near them instantly. 602-364-2539.

The Valley daycare provider Precious Treasures is another option. They offer 24/7 daycare availability. 480-917-5614.

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