Community Distraught After Downtown Wagoner Fire
WAGONER, Oklahoma - Scorched shells are all that's left of several century old downtown Wagoner buildings.
At it's worse, the fire blasted through the roof, and you can feel the heat from it yards away.
"Horrible night,” said Wagoner City Historical Museum representative Liz McMahan. “The worst Wagoner has seen in a long, long time."
The fire is out, but people still feel something: that pain of losing those buildings that helped make Wagoner what it is.
“So many memories went up in smoke,” said McMahan. “It was just horrible."
Walking the modern-day streets of Wagoner before the fire, there was an old western feel.
The brick buildings and artistically crafted parapets helped paint the picture.
Now, it all sits scorched behind blackened walls.
"I doubt anyone will ever go through the expense of building them as they were," said McMahan.
The community used the western design as a back drop for its annual Wagoner shootout re-enactment. It plays out the 1895 shooting of two local outlaws. Terry Presley plays sheriff Ed Reed.
"It's actually indescribable,” said Presley. “It's phenomenal because all these buildings are dating from back in the day in that frame and it's so important, especially for what we do."
That reenactment is one of the major draws for the town, a large chunk of the backdrop now lost forever.
"It just crushes; it really does,” Presley added. “I’m sorry, but this is our, it's our town. It's where we're from. We live here. We love it here."
And it's that love they say will pull the community back together.
A local historian told News On 6 that in the last 120 years an entire side of the street has burned down, and just two years ago, right across the street, the roofs were blown off in a storm.