Fire heavily damages downtown Ponca City building

Tuesday, May 28th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PONCA CITY, Okla. (AP) _ Fire early Tuesday heavily damaged an old downtown hotel building that also was involved in a fire about 18 months ago.

The Plaza Hotel structure was damaged Oct. 9, 2000. At that time, it housed a resale shop. The building was unoccupied when Tuesday's fire occurred, according to Sherry Bowers of the Ponca City Fire Department.

Bowers said the building on West Oklahoma Street was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived about 5:15 a.m.

There was no damage to two nearby landmarks, the Robin Hood Flour Mill and the old Santa Fe Railroad depot.

``As long as we have no comprehensive revitalization efforts for downtown, we will continue to have destructive fires and the possibility for loss of life,'' said Bret Carter, a member of the Ponca City Landmark Conservancy. ``Downtown is an economic engine that is being allowed to slowly self-destruct.''