Food pantry forced to close doors due to significant fire damage

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-10 18:15:54-04

MILWAUKEE, WI — A food pantry on Milwaukee’s south side is closed after extensive fire damage from one of the eight fires set in the area Thursday night. 

“It’s horrible, it’s terrible,” said the business manager Chris Serio.

“It take us right out of business there’s all kinds of clients we can’t serve,” he continued.

Serio manages the food pantry at the Congregation of the Great Spirit perish on Latham Boulevard. The pantry is just one of the eight sites crews responded to overnight after reports of a fire.

“It’s hurting lots of people,” Serio said.

“It really affects a lot of people,” he continued.

The damage to the pantry is extensive. According to Serio, not only is the church office a complete loss, but so is the pantry itself and its food inventory, which services about 600 people per month.

“How can someone be so cruel to someone so nice?” said Jerrod Hafert.

He and his partner, Sarah Kruger frequent the pantry. They’ve come to rely on it for essential goods, but Friday morning the two were turned away.

“People don’t realize how it affects other people,” Kruger said.

“That’s one thing that everyone in this world seems to not really do anymore,” she continued.

According to the Milwaukee Fire Department, crews started battling flames just after 11 p.m. Surveillance video shows three people peddling on bicycles in the area. Police suspect the three could be responsible for the crime.