Although their 40 students have no place to go, the daycare remains thankful that no one was hurt.
VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Family F.O.C.U.S. Park View Child Development Center off of S. Mooney Boulevard in Visalia went up in flames on Wednesday afternoon.
The Visalia Fire Department fire started in the kitchen around 3 pm.
Two dozen students, some as young as two years old, were rushed to safety by staff members.
"We couldn't have asked for a better team to have unfortunately had to experience what they experienced yesterday, and they just snapped into action. They knew what they needed to do. The children were their first priority," explains an emotional Kawanda Pettitt, Program Director at Family F.O.C.U.S.
Thankfully, most students were already outside when the call came in just a few hours before closing time.
Within five minutes, the Visalia Fire Department was first on the scene.
A total of seven trucks responded. The heightened response intensified because of the children.
"Doesn't happen every day. But you know, definitely elevated tension levels anxieties for everybody when we have kids involved and multiple kids involved at a school," says Darrin Hughes, Battalion Fire Chief for Visalia.
The damage is expected to cost thousands, and the location is expected to be closed for several months.
And although their 40 students have no place to go, the daycare remains thankful that no one was hurt.
"We're devastated. Quite an emotional time for us, but we're so thankful that all the children and staff are safe," says founder of Family F.O.C.U.S., Prudy Tanner.
The non-profit was founded in 2000.
They have three locations, including one in Porterville and two in Visalia.
Family F.O.C.U.S leases their South Mooney Blvd. location from the County of Tulare.
To learn more about Family F.O.C.U.S, click here.