Arson suspected in downtown Okmulgee fire

Saturday, January 14th 2006, 5:37 pm
By: News On 6

Flames shot several yards into the sky early Saturday morning in downtown Okmulgee as firefighters struggled to put out the fire. The scene was caught on amateur video while emergency crews worked to get the blaze under control. By the time the flames were put out, it was too late.

Most of the vacant units were gutted by the flames. The Okmulgee Cafe sat in the corner of the building and was completely destroyed.

Milissia Smith owns the cafe. 15 years of hard work lost in one night. "They told me last night after it quit smoldering that I could come down here later on and they'd notify me and see if I could salvage anything but, I don't think there is anything left."

Oklmulgee Police say a 17 year-old started the fire in the back , it quickly spread to the other buildings. He is in custody, and police say he has confessed.

Milissia didn't have insurance and she's not sure what she's going to do. She hopes she can re-open somewhere. Several of her employees at the cafe are also out of a job.

Okmulgee Police told the News on 6, they arrested a 17 year-old boy at the scene of the fire.He has not been in trouble before but now he faces arson and other charges. He's being held as a juvenile in the Okmulgee County jail.