Free medical clinic in Pinckney destroyed by fire - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Free medical clinic in Pinckney destroyed by fire

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The Faith Medical Clinic in Pinckney is a total loss following a fire.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) The Faith Medical Clinic in Pinckney is a total loss following a fire. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
PINCKNEY, Mich. (WJBK) -

It was a place that provided free medical care for thousands of people in need.  Sadly, a Pinckney clinic caught fire and is a total loss.  The fire chief said it appears accidental, but it has left countless low income families with no place to go.

The building on South Howell went up in flames around 4:00 a.m. Monday.  Firefighters managed to save the medical records of hundreds of patients, but little else.

"We lost all of our medical equipment, everything from our blood pressure cuffs to the stretchers that we use to see patients, our microscope, our EKG machine, all of the waiting room furniture.  It's all gone," said Laura Goldman, the clinic's administrator.

She and her husband, Dr. Mitch Goldman, started the free medical center about five years ago for people with no insurance.  It's one of 53 in the state.  The township rented them the building for just $1.00 a year so they could help families in need.

"We have about 2,000 patients that depend on us for their healthcare.  They really don't have anywhere else to go," Laura said.

Investigators believe it was an electrical fire that started in a piece of plugged in medical equipment.

"This had burned a long time before we got here.  It smoldered for a long time," said Putnam Township Fire Chief Greg Amburgey.  "It's just one of those things and it's devastating, especially to an organization like theirs that do so much for people."

Volunteers including students and medical residents from the University of Michigan helped run the clinic.  Now they will have to start all over again.  I put them in touch with World Medical Relief, a nonprofit organization I've reported on in the past that recycles donated medical supplies.  They have already pledged to help, and a church and the old township firehouse have been offered as possible new locations.

"We're still reeling a little bit and unsure what's going to happen next, but we have faith that God's going to take us to the next step," Laura said.

If you would like to help bring the clinic back to life, donations can be sent to Faith Medical Clinic, PO Box 978, Pinckney, MI  48169.

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