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Fire Damages A Downtown Muskogee Building

Updated:
A century-old building catches fire in downtown Muskogee, damaging the second story. The owner had only bought it a year ago with plans to revitalize.

News on 6 reporter Carina Sonn says thick smoke and flames shot out of a 100 year old building in Muskogee near Broadway and Main Friday morning. It wasn't the wake up call business owner John Lindley was expecting. "They called me on my personal phone at home and told me ‘am I John Lindley with American Copier?’ and I said ‘yes’ and they said ‘your building's on fire come down here.’”

It wasn't Lindley's building, but the one next to his shop that was on fire. The Muskogee Fire Department received a call at 5:30 AM from a patrol officer. Fire officials believe the fire started in a dumpster, moved up the wall and into the second story.

No one was hurt. Muskogee Fire Chief Danny Tracy :"when our firefighters arrived, the fire was in between the buildings and it was protruding through the roof." At this point, Fire Chief Danny Tracy believes the fire was accidental.

There were a couple of small businesses on the first floor of the building, but the second story was vacant. And while most of the roof is caved in, Lindley's store just has some water and smoke damage. John Lindley: “luckily I got a couple of pieces of equipment out, saved our computers with customer lists on them and we'll be alright"

The owner of the building purchased it a year ago with plans for office and retail space, she says she now wants to try and save the building, especially the facade. Fire Chief Danny Tracy: "any lose of an old building is important to us, especially when the owner was going to revitalize it."

For now, Lindley doesn't know if he'll stay or move, but he says he's not too worried. "I'm about 55 years old and I've had a lot of water underneath my bridge and you shouldn't let things affect you.”

Fire Chief Tracy says the fire is still under investigation. City engineers are expected to assess the damage this weekend.

The building is about four blocks from the Muskogee County Courthouse.
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