KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Monday, WATE got a look at the damage and the impact of an overnight fire at Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. It comes as the Knoxville Fire Department released new details about the cause and ruled it as arson.

The social service agency’s executive director, Lisa Healy, said it is devastating for something like this to happen. Some of the offices at the Dameron Avenue location are now charred and ruined.

“The building here is divided into two sections. Administration and then our Pregnancy Help Center. The administration side is the side that caught fire,” Healy said. “One of the offices is completely destroyed. There’s really nothing left in the office. The one next to it is probably about 60 percent gone. The entire building has water damage and it’s covered with soot.”

The good news, that damage won’t hinder services. A diocese of Knoxville spokesperson says Catholic Charities will temporarily relocate office operations to its Division Street location.

“The work we do, it doesn’t have to be in this location. Catholic Charities goes out, we reach people where they’re at, and we’ll continue to do that,” said Healy. “For the clients that we serve, we just want them to know that they need to just continue to reach out and call us, come to any of our other locations. If there is a reason that we can’t serve them, we will definitely get them to the resources that can.”

Healy had a message to those continuing to show support in the aftermath.

“I just want to thank everyone in the community who has reached out to Catholic Charities today and continues to reach out,” said Healy. “More than anything now we just need prayers that we can move past this quickly and just keep going.”

Giving Tuesday is approaching. Catholic Charities of East Tennessee says anything people can do to support them would be greatly appreciated. You can give directly to CCETN via, or The Big Give via

Meantime, arson investigators are asking for help figuring out who did this. If you were near the Dameron Ave. building on Sunday evening or know anything that could help, call the state arson hotline at 1-800-762-3017.

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