LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Saturday morning's fire in a vacant Lee's Summit building now has close to 100 families scrambling; the building that burned was International Children's Academy.
The fire happened around midnight Saturday morning, Aug. 24. However, the owners have already found a new, temporary building to reopen.
"We will be ready to go Tuesday if not Monday. It is in the old Little Learner 2 building located off woods chapel," a post from the daycare states.
The International Children's Academy (ICA) is a staple in Lee's Summit. For almost 40 years, families have trusted their children to the people inside those four walls.
Rob Akert is one of them. Just a week ago, his child began going to ICA. "We chose this place just because it was a family atmosphere," he said. "All the kids really seem to enjoy all the teachers, all the teachers know the kids by name. It was just a real big family."
He reflected on that family atmosphere as he stood outside 905 Douglas to see the damage for himself. He watched people put up plywood to cover up the charred interior, and he watched an insurance agent walk survey the damage from the outside.
The Lee's Summit Fire Department (LSFD) released a statement, reading that the "fire was identified between ceiling and roof. Interior conditions rapidly progressed to the point that crews had no visibility and increased intensity of heat."
LSFD also said it took almost three hours to put out the flames. The fire is still under investigation.
The insurance agent on site said close to 100 children attend ICA. All those families, which includes Akert, are now wondering two things.
"Just kind of figuring out what's next for them," Akert said. "Obviously, we're hoping the best for them."
The other concern is how the families who ICA helped so much could now help ICA.
"Getting those doors back open," Akert said hopefully, "and going back to that family atmosphere and getting as close to business as usual."
Around 4 pm Saturday, the International Childcare Academy owners updated Facebook:
UPDATE: We have a building!!! We will be ready to go Tuesday if not Monday. It is in the old Little Learner 2 building located off woods chapel. I will post the exact address on here as well. Yes, we realized it's a little out of the way, but its temporary and we were blessed with this building that has preschool/daycare furniture ready to go, just needs some cleaning and TLC. This does not take away our heartache but it sure does assure us that our babies and children will have a save place to call home again!! I cant begin to thank you all for your unbelievable support. . it brings Nancy and I to tears! ❤ you all!