Fire destroyed an abandoned church building in Picher Thursday afternoon.
The much-photographed church was one of the few structures that remained in the Ottawa County community. Picher became a ghost town after the EPA declared it a Superfund site in 1983, because of contamination by huge chat piles left over from decades of lead, zinc and other mining.
Keith and Jenny Long told News On 6 they were taking photos of the town and the church Thursday afternoon when they spotted a small fire inside the building.
The Longs called 911 and the Quapaw Tribe Fire Department arrived, but they said the fire quickly got out of control, burning the building to the ground.
In 2008, an EF-4 tornado with winds of 175 miles per hour cut a destructive path through town.