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A photo from River City Recovery Center’s website shows the grounds of its men’s facility on Alta Mesa Road in Herald. A fire on Dec. 29 caused major damage in the facility’s commercial kitchen and spread to the dining area.

A fire at a Herald addiction recovery center has left dozens of people displaced; however, three area fire departments working together were able to salvage the affected building.

Flames broke out at River City Recovery Center at 7:53 p.m. on Dec. 29, according to Herald Fire Protection District Chief James Hendricks. He said that the blaze began in the facility’s commercial kitchen, causing major damage there, and spread to the dining area. All of the food stored in the kitchen was lost, as well. The cause remains under investigation.

River City Recovery has multiple locations in the Sacramento area, including an administration office and a women’s facility and sober-living facilities in Midtown Sacramento. The fire occurred at its men’s facility on Alta Mesa Road in Herald.

The process of putting out the fire “went really well”, Hendricks said in an interview. The volunteer fire department called in reinforcements from Cosumnes Fire Department and Wilton Fire Protection District, “and we were able to get it knocked down really quickly,” Hendricks said. Though the building was damaged, the departments kept it to a “partial loss.”

“The big issue is, we had to evacuate a lot of people that live there,” Hendricks said. All told, about 70 people have been moved to other locations, such as hotels and other rehabilitation facilities, until the damage can be repaired.

On its website, River City Recovery says it was founded in 1964 and offers residential treatment, as well as sober living, for people transitioning back into society. It says that the vast majority of its counselors have been through the program themselves.

“Our mission here at River City Recovery Center is to improve the lives we touch and help you light your path to recovery,” the site says. River City Recovery did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Hendricks complimented the work of his department’s volunteers and of the other departments’ firefighters.

“Everybody did very well,” Hendricks said. “The mutual aid system in place in Sacramento County works very well. We were able to get adequate help quickly and had a good turnout amongst our own people, so it went very well.”