Fire Destroys Five Historic Buildings In Downtown Seminole
Seminole, Oklahoma - A fire destroyed part of Seminole's history. It started early Sunday morning in the city's downtown area where flames spread into five buildings that were more than 80 years old.
“It's sad to see downtown kind of disappearing because of fire,” said business owner Danny Williams. “This is part of Seminole’s history.”
The fire burned five historic buildings along Main Street. Firefighter from Seminole and neighboring Wewoka worked together to contain the raging flames.
“It's kind of like an oven, once you have a fire that starts inside, it just continues to fester and gets hotter and hotter,” said Chief Bryant Baker, Seminole Fire Department.
Firefighters battled the fire for hours, having a tough time attacking it because of the metal roofing.
“We've had walls collapse in different areas so we have created a collapse zone to make sure everybody stays out of that,” said Baker.
Curry-Hardin Furniture store was located here on Main Street for years before moving a few blocks away. It continued to house its furniture inside four of the buildings, which only fueled the flames.
“This is a huge loss for our community,” Baker said.
On the corner stood Parks Drug Store, which had since closed when the owner retired, but the soda fountain and pharmacy still held fond memories for many locals.
“Parks Drug has been there all my life, it's always been there, forever,” said Gale Parsons, a long time Seminole resident. “There was lots of coffee drinking in that building, I promise you, lots of coffee.”
Many people walked down to Main Street, reminiscing, while watching the fire burn.
“My heart sank, I was like 'that's a part of Seminole,’” said resident Joy Boren. “That was there since I was a kid and it's just sad.”
“I'm 62 and they were there when I was growing up,” remembers Marilyn Boren, Joy’s mother. “It's not going to be the same.”
This isn’t the first time fire has devastated downtown Seminole. In 2011, fire destroyed two other downtown buildings, leaving empty lots.
“It just puts another blank space in a place that really didn't need to happen and we're all sad but it's something you can't stop when fire takes a hold of it,” said Williams.
Firefighters plan to spend the next 48 hours on the scene watching for hot spots. No injuries are reported and no word yet on what caused the fire.