Structural Engineer Inspects Burned Remains Of Wagoner Buildings

Friday, August 4th 2017, 7:07 pm

A structural engineer got an up close look Friday at the burned remains of several historic buildings in downtown Wagoner. The buildings were destroyed in a massive fire in downtown Wagoner nearly a week ago on July 30. 

But it could be a few more days before shop owners know if they'll be allowed back in. 

If the engineer says the buildings are not stable, the city will place steel beams on the front sides of the buildings, shoring them up to prevent walls from crashing down. 

While traffic moves down Main Street in Wagoner, walls put in place before statehood are standing, for now.

7/31/2017 Related Story: Wagoner Police Continue Investigation In Downtown Fire

"There's a potential domino effect - if one fell, it could just fall. They could fall straight down. The wind could blow it over tonight," said Wagoner Mayor Albert Jones. 

City leaders met with a structural engineer Friday, while he took his first look at the charred brick and piles of rubble. 

Jones says at this point, it's unclear if the buildings can be saved or not. 

It could be Monday before Jones has some answers. 

But he does see opportunity - similar to what people saw more than a century ago. 

"Just like the great fire that they had back in 1905 that destroyed Owl Drug the first time - they rebuilt. 114 years later they're still here. That's what I see. I see us getting together as a community, building back," Jones said. 

Even if the structural engineer determines the buildings are not stable, the city can shore up the walls

Jones says that would allow business owners to go in and start cleaning up debris. 

But in the meantime, the city is urging people not to go past the fence or they could get hurt. 

"This area is basically restricted and off limits until we have official word if it's even safe to be in here" 

The Wagoner fire chief says it could be a week or more until the state fire marshal and ATF agents determine the cause of the fire. 

The mayor says A music festival coming up at the end of September may have to move away from Main Street while the city, along with store owners are busy moving forward. 


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