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Businesses Displaced By May Brothers Building Fire Struggle To Rebuild

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Investigators say a fire that began in a second-floor meth lab ruined the iconic May Brothers Department store. It also affected other businesses that called the building home. Investigators say a fire that began in a second-floor meth lab ruined the iconic May Brothers Department store. It also affected other businesses that called the building home.
Inspirations Dance Studio now holds its classes in a church basement. Its studios suffered heavy smoke and water damage, so moving back in is not an option. Inspirations Dance Studio now holds its classes in a church basement. Its studios suffered heavy smoke and water damage, so moving back in is not an option.
"If we weren't here, we would have nowhere to go. This is my passion and my livelihood. It's what puts food on my table," said Shannon Fox, Inspirations Dance Studio President. "If we weren't here, we would have nowhere to go. This is my passion and my livelihood. It's what puts food on my table," said Shannon Fox, Inspirations Dance Studio President.

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, OK -- Nearly three months after a meth-related fire destroyed the historic May Brothers Building in Bartlesville, displaced businesses are having a tough time heading into the holiday season. 

It took only a few hours to destroy nearly a century of Bartlesville history. Investigators say a fire that began in a second-floor meth lab ruined the iconic May Brothers Department store. It also affected other businesses that called the building home.

Inspirations Dance Studio now holds its classes in a church basement. Its studios suffered heavy smoke and water damage, so moving back in is not an option.

"If we weren't here, we would have nowhere to go. This is my passion and my livelihood. It's what puts food on my table," said Shannon Fox, Inspirations Dance Studio President.

Shannon Fox has been running Inspirations Dance for more than 10 years. Her instructors teach ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance to kids as young as three-years-old. 

"It's my home, it really is. Ms. Shannon is like my second Mom. I've been with her all my life," said Lindsey Barnes, a dancer.

"We like it a lot. It just gets into our souls, and we get into it a lot, and it's fun for us," said Abigail Bollenbach, a dancer.

The studio is still able to hold most of its classes, but the church is a temporary solution. 

Fox says because there was technically no fire damage, the insurance payout isn't nearly enough to pay for a new facility. But even though they are displaced by arson, and hoping for help, she plans on remaining an inspiration.

"I can't even tell you what they mean to me. It's not about me at all, it's really about them," said Shannon Fox.

Authorities have yet to arrest anyone in this case. If you would like to help Inspirations Dance Studio, you can contact Bank First in Bartlesville at 338-4390.

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