Wagoner Firefighters On Standby In Case Of 'Hot Spots'

Tuesday, August 1st 2017, 7:03 pm

Wagoner firefighters don't plan to leave downtown for at least two more days, making sure they're on standby if hot spots flare up in the historic buildings that burned Sunday.

As debris continues burning and smoke fills the air, it's quiet on Main Street. 

"Welcome to one of my worst nightmares," said Wagoner Fire Chief Kelly Grooms. 

7/30/2017 Related Story: Wagoner Firefighters Battle Fires In Historic Downtown Buildings

Firefighters have used more than a half-a-million gallons of water, and that's causing some problems for some people's water. 

A water sample taken from downtown is perfectly clear.  

The city said it hadn't had any complaints from residents Tuesday, but said because firefighters used so much water, it almost drained the water tower supply.

Grooms explained why some people may have had color in their water after firefighters used about 4,000 gallons per minute to fight the fire. 

"Anytime you draw that much water... if you start moving 4,000 gallons of water through the line, it's gonna pull little particles off the side of the line, and it's gonna stir stuff up in the line. So you get a little dark color water. There's nothing wrong with the water," Grooms said. 

The state fire marshal and ATF agents are digging through debris, which is a job Grooms said could quickly turn dangerous if any walls collapse. 

"They're covering all bases. They're checking everything out," Grooms said. "We never know when one of the walls could fall. And when they fall - they go quick."

From the street, one firefighter is using his drone to keep an eye on any hot spots that might otherwise be missed. 

While it's difficult for everyone to look at the heart of downtown right now, Tim Swenson sees opportunity in what could come next. 

"It could be nice to have like a downtown campus, maybe a community college or something," Swenson said. 

He's one of only a handful of people working on Main Street right now.

Most businesses are closed while investigators work. 

"Everybody seems kind of confused because something bad happened but there's still that hope that we can recover from it," Swenson said. 

Police and firefighters are asking anyone with information about what happened to give them a call. 

Structural engineers were supposed to be in Wagoner Tuesday to inspect the buildings, but that didn't happen. They're expected to stop by sometime later in the week.