Investigators are trying to figure out what started a Friday morning fire that swept through a club that had stood in a northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood for more than 40 years.
Fire broke out at the Porthole Club at N.W. 39th Street and Portland around 4:30 a.m. Friday. Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes. They had to battle both flames and high winds.
Crews were able to prevent the fire from destroying the club, but the flames did cause significant smoke and water damage. John Ross has owned the Porthole Club since 1969. Neighboring business owners say they're saddened to see what he's going through.
"One of the firemen did tell me that it's been gutted," said Joe Nelson. "I know John Ross very well. We have never had any trouble on this corner. I have been here for three years, not even a firecracker, and then this happens. It's very devastating to say the very least."
Ross has spent the morning at the scene with firefighters, trying to figure out what may have started the fire. Damage is estimated at $150,000. Ross says he will rebuild.