Stockyards City Fire Destroys Native Art Gallery, Owner Plans To Rebuild

Friday, March 6th 2015, 6:23 pm
By: News 9

Fire investigators are forced to rule the cause of yesterday's 4-alarm blaze in Stockyards City "undetermined." They say it is too dangerous to go back inside the charred buildings.

The fire caused close to a half million dollars in damages.

3/6/15 Related Story: Stockyards City Blaze Causes Nearly Half A Million Dollars In Damage

Sadly for one business owner the rebuilding process is something too familiar to her.

The owner of the Native American Gallery next door to where the fire started said, this will be the third time she's had to rebuild. Her gallery now twice destroyed by fire, the other time by the Murrah building explosion.

Some would call it bad luck.

“It was devastating. I mean you don't want to believe something like that is happening again,” said Oklahoma Native Art and Jewelry owner Yolanda White Antelope.

White Antelope watched on Thursday as her latest gallery was destroyed by fire.

Her first gallery in Shawnee opened around 1992. It was also lost in similar fashion, destroyed after a neighboring business caught fire.

“One day the building next door caught on fire, so ours was also demolished,” said White Antelope.

Three years later White Antelope relocated to downtown Oklahoma City.

On April 19, 1995 her gallery was one of thousands destroyed by the aftershock from the Murrah building bombing.

“When it hit our gallery it just exploded everything. It was into a zillion pieces,” she said.

Her passion to showcase Native American artwork and jewelry is what she said gave her the strength to reopen a new gallery.

Her galleries home to priceless once of a kind pieces.

“Things happen you know? It just made us better and stronger. Even after this we'll make it,” said the gallery owner.

But again, she's forced to rebuild her gallery destroyed in Thursday morning's fire.

“Bad luck doesn't follow us. There's tomorrow and tomorrow. You know I cried yesterday, but today I am wanting to start over,” she said. “What can you do besides pick up, put on your boots and start over.”

She's getting lots of help from friends and other Stockyards City businesses. In fact she's already eyeing another property for rent in the historic district she would like to move in to.