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Fire destroys Eau Claire special needs day program building

EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - A fire in Eau Claire Friday morning destroyed a building that provides work opportunities for people with special needs. 

Firefighters were called to Reach Incorporated just after 3 a.m. 

When they arrived, battalion chief Byron Bensen said a shed was engulfed in flames about 10 feet from the main building. From there, it spread to the structure's attic and roof. 

Both the shed and the main structure are total losses. 

No one was inside at the time. The building mainly houses the adult day program for Reach Incorporated, which serves about 150 people in the Eau Claire region with 45 staff members. 

Reach CEO Stacy Wigfield called the blaze devastating, and her group is working to start up again someplace else.  

Also, an unattached garage was noticed be on fire about three-and-a-half hours after units arrived at the Reach building. Bensen said he sent whatever personnel he had left.