City Of Wagoner Works To Keep People Safe Following Fire

Thursday, August 3rd 2017, 10:16 am
By: News On 6

The City of Wagoner is taking extra precautions to keep people safe from falling bricks.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation installed a special concrete and fence barrier along Wagoner's Main Street Thursday. The structure consists of a four-foot high concrete barrier topped with 6-feet of fencing.

They're worried historic buildings that caught fire Sunday could crumble at any moment.  

Main Street was open by Thursday afternoon but only in one direction, and the barricades and fences are up to keep folks safe in case all of this comes crumbling down.

There's double protection for the people walking around - the fence and the concrete barriers. Officials said at this point, there's no telling how strong the buildings are the barricades are about safety. 

Placing the chain link fences and concrete barriers are the latest steps to keep folks strolling downtown Wagoner safe.

"They are putting cement barricades up to catch the brick if they fall and we're putting a chain link fence to keep people out."

These century old building are just barely standing after a massive fire gutted them. 

8/1/2017 Related Story: Wagoner Firefighters On Standby In Case Of 'Hot Spots'

Days later the hot spots are out, but there's still plenty of people stopping by to take a look. 

"I really like it the way it was before."

In the hours after the fire, city leaders hoped to get structural engineers out to check the building's integrity... a small mix up will delay that for a bit longer.

So until they get here or grant money to pay for engineers is approved, the barriers will have to do.

"We don't want people in there trying to grab a brick or get a look inside the buildings."

Wagoner's fire chief said the historic buildings mean a lot to the people around town, but they need to stay out.

He said trying to get a memento isn't worth the fine or your life.

"Anytime these buildings can fall...when they fall they are quick you don't outrun them," Grooms said. 

The mayor says although The buildings are in bad shape he's hoping they'll be able to save the facades. But it could take months to find out if they can be saved. 

Since the fire, several downtown businesses have stayed closed because traffic couldn't get through. 

City leaders say opening up at least one side of the street will allow businesses to open back up.