Fire Erupts At Abandoned School

Monday, October 29th 2007, 4:36 pm
By: News On 6

Fire destroys an abandoned north Tulsa school. The old Mingo School, near 46th Street North and Mingo, burned Monday afternoon. The News On 6’s Chris Wright was on the scene. He reports the school closed its doors nearly a decade ago. And, when firefighters arrived they were more concerned with containing the fire than saving the structure.

Tulsa fire crews arrived to find intense flames already consuming much of the school’s second floor.

"We had to go inside the building to assess the level of the fire, and it did not take long, it was getting enough oxygen, that it blossomed in the upper story there very rapidly,” said Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles.

Because the old school is abandoned, firefighters quickly exited and fought the fire from outside. They say there was no point in risking anyone's safety.

"The building is coming down, the risk to benefit of putting firefighters inside that building, what have you really saved? So safety is our number one priority right now,” said Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles.

Although Mingo School's doors closed long ago, the fire did attract some former alumni. Rick Cassidy graduated in 1979.

"It's terrible. It's terrible to see it. The Wildcats man, that's what we were. The Mingo Wildcats. Like I said when we grew up, we were the Mingo boys. Everywhere we went. Which school you go to? We go to Mingo,” said former student Rick Cassidy.

While upsetting for former students, the fire did provide a training opportunity for 35 Tulsa Fire Department cadets. The group, which had just finished its swift water training on the Arkansas River, was bused in to help battle the blaze.

They, along with the regulars, were eventually able to contain the fire.

Ironically, Mingo School, which sits just east of Tulsa International Airport, was scheduled to be demolished by the Tulsa Airport Authority in the near future.

Watch the video: Abandoned School Catches Fire