Cleanup Begins After 4-Alarm Fire Damages Hodges Bend, Lowood Restaurant In Downtown Tulsa

Two downtown Tulsa restaurants and bars burned overnight Saturday, gutting an entire building with apartments on the second floor.

Sunday, September 24th 2023, 4:18 pm

By: Emory Bryan, News On 6


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A four-alarm fire that sparked in Downtown Tulsa on Saturday damaged restaurants, apartments and some businesses, officials say.

Two downtown Tulsa restaurants and bars burned, gutting an entire building with apartments on the second floor.

Small puffs of smoke still rose from the ruins of the building, 24 hours after the fire started.

It sparked by Hodges Bend, a popular coffee shop, and Lowood Modern Woodfire restaurant near E. 3rd St. and S. Lansing Ave., where crews including off-duty firefighters fire responded at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Both appear to be total losses, buried underneath the rubble of apartments.

The Tulsa Fire Department said it started near the restaurant before spreading to the apartment units in the popular downtown area.

On Sunday, a restoration crew was boarding up the building and cleaning up the street.

The first report of the fire came from Lowood, and customers and staff rushed outside.

"They're gonna have fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, all the things that happen when you're fighting fires," said Andy Little with the Tulsa Fire Department. "We do our best to limit that water damage, but ultimately, the goal is to make sure that fire's out."

The apartment had been evacuated and firefighters cleared the building. No injuries have been reported.

Two hours after the fire started, storms rolled in and from there, firefighters were dealing with the weather and a stubborn fire that continued burning for hours, until the roof collapsed.

Tulsa Fire shared video on social media of firefighters dousing the flames with water.

Crews say the way the building was constructed made it difficult to completely extinguish the fire, so they continued to fight it all night.

TFD said at one point there were 12 engines, six ladders and three district chiefs including most of the command staff at the scene. At the peak, 60 firefighters were on the scene.

"We'll continue to do so until we're confident all the hot spots are out and won't reignite," Little said.

The community has started fundraisers for damaged businesses, donating proceeds and expressing support for those impacted

A GoFundMe page can be found HERE.

"We are all in shock and heartbroken. We didn’t just lose businesses, our friends and neighbors lost their homes," said Lowood restaurant chef Trevor Tack on social media Sunday morning. "Everyone is safe and I truly believe that is because our staff acted quickly and decisively in those crucial moments. We are not slain, we will rebuild and comeback stronger. Thank you for your support and well wishes. We love you."

The fire department continued to monitor hotspots on Sunday, while friends of the restaurants started a fundraiser for the staff, now topping $50,000 raised in 24 hours.

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