Cleanup Begins After Fire Destroys Three Cheyenne, Arapaho Buildings

Wednesday, February 4th 2015, 6:41 pm
By: News 9

Cleanup is underway after what tribal members are calling an attack on the tribe.

Cheyenne Arapaho structures and its newspaper were targeted, and the attack has left one editor saddened, but even more so resilient.

"It's an attack on everybody who works to build something good who are striving to do something good," said Rosemary Stephens, Editor-in-Chief for Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Tribune.

Stephens can only turn the page on what's been her brainchild for the last decade, the nationally recognized Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune.

"We're gonna go forward. It's not gonna stop us," said Stephens. 

But getting to that mindset hasn't been easy for Rosemary. Twenty-four hours ago her office was one of three locations torched; everything inside almost a complete loss, desks scorched and ceiling lights liquefied.

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The only things salvageable were pictures of her grandchildren and her computer loaded with thousands of vital documents.

"I jumped out of a dead sleep, turned on the news and I started crying, like hysterically crying. Then my husband looked at me and said, ‘You need to get your crying done and then you need to get dressed and go be professional.' And that's what I did. That's what I did yesterday. So we're doing one step at a time," said Stephens.

And the next step for Rosemary: Work from home to make print for the papers next edition. Because, like any good editor, Rosemary refuses to miss deadline.

"I hope whoever did this act, first of all, I hope they're brought to justice, but I hope they can't sleep at night," said Stephens.

The El Reno Tribune has also offered office space to Stephens once she is ready to move into an office.

Insurance adjusters were on scene as well but we're told the total damage won't be figured for at least two weeks due to historical factors of the buildings.