Drumright Residents Begin To Rebuild After Weekend Wildfire

Monday, August 6th 2012, 7:43 pm
By: News On 6

The Fire Chief said the fire in Drumright has mostly been southwest of Drumright, in the Oak Grove area. He said 90% of that fire is now under control, but firefighters were still battling flare-ups throughout Monday.

Meanwhile, residents have begun the long process of rebuilding.

What, for 25 years was the home of Alan and Melonie Smith, is now a pile of ash and charred belongings.

"It's really surreal," Melonie said.

8/5/2012 Related Story: Drumright Residents Can Return After Wildfires; Caution Urged

The Oak Grove couple spent Monday sorting through the rubble, what's left of their house and their barn.

They said they're very thankful that no one was hurt.

"Knowing that I could get my family out safely made it easier to take. So long as I got my family, the house is replaceable," Melonie said.

Alan Smith teaches agriculture and was able to ferry his livestock to safety. He's now counting his blessings in the form of other Ag teachers across the state, who have pitched in to help his family bounce back.

"Tons of help offered from other Ag teachers and other FFA members. My own FFA members came out this morning and helped do some cleaning," Alan said.

Help is coming from elsewhere in the community, as well. The Assembly of God Church is collecting clothes to give to fire victims.

Drumright resident Amanda Levis said, "This is what we do in Drumright. When there's a need, we come to the call."

All that is happening as Drumright's finest continue to battle Mother Nature. It's been non-stop since Saturday.

"I been through the 1996 fires, the 2006 fires—this doesn't compare to any of them," said Drumright Fire Department Chief Wade Guyer.

Guyer said he's also thankful for support. Two fraternities from OSU sent a bunch of coolers to the fire department Monday.

Considering all they've lost, the Smiths didn't seem too upset. They said they made it through with their most important belongings: each other.

Now comes the next step—rebuilding their home.

"Oh yeah, we're gonna rebuild. Rebuild the barn, rebuild the house. We will," Melonie said.

Alan said they had no plans of leaving the community that has supported them.

"Yeah, we love the Oak Grove area. It's a wonderful place to live," Alan said.

He said an Ag teacher in Perry also lost his home, so Ag programs across the state, this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, are going to be selling watermelons and cantaloupes to raise money to help those two teachers as they begin to rebuild their lives.

See full coverage of Oklahoma Wildfires