Neighbors inspect the damage after Monday's blast and resulting fires

Tuesday, August 19th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Business and homeowners spent Tuesday sorting through what's left of their belongings.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says we're still not sure what caused the fire to spread to neighboring houses and businesses. But there are two possibilities. The Tulsa Fire Department says the fire was so hot it could have incinerated nearby trees and spread from there. They also speculate exploding debris could have carried the flames to businesses like Bill Shea's appliance store.

Once the blaze was sparked, it didn't stop until Shea's business was destroyed. It was a family business, started 45 years ago. The roof is collapsed, some appliances are melted, and the sign bearing the company’s name is in tatters. A trailer outside the business, now looks like crumpled tin foil. And all the antique furniture Shea was storing is gone.

Just across the street, two homes were destroyed. But the fire department says they were vacant. About a dozen other homes in the area were damaged.

When Dan Shea looks around, he considers himself lucky. "Luckily nobody died. Lotta people lost all their belongings. I just lost a store, they lost their clothes and furniture and a place to live. I've gotta place to live. I can live."

Shea says he won't be out of business for long. He's already thinking about moving his appliance store into a building he owns up the street. He estimates he lost between $50,000 and $75,000 in inventory.