Storage Building Filled With Donated Supplies Catches Fire At Webbers Falls School

Saturday, January 11th 2020, 4:49 pm
By: Erick Payne

Today there was a big scare for a community hit hard by flooding.

A school building holding donated supplies caught fire in Webbers Falls.

The district had to start fresh after record flooding filled the school with feet of water.

Saturday, teachers stepped in to stop what could have been another big blow for the school.

One teacher was in her classroom preparing for the week when she saw the smoke coming from the portable storage building.

"I could tell where I thought it was coming from, my heart just sank because it was one of our storage buildings," said 1st grade teacher Mariah Hogan.

This building holds all of the school supply donations from across Oklahoma after extreme flooding devastated this town and school district this summer.

"We can't go through anything else; our little school took so much this summer with the flood, we just couldn't take anything else," said Hogan.

Hogan called 911, and school leaders. She said firefighters got here quickly.

"I was just hoping some things could be saved, I'm glad they got here as quick as they did," said Hogan.

Stephen Matthews is the agriculture teacher and lives down the street.

"My adrenaline was pumping," said Matthews.

He sprinted out the door and ran to move the bus that was parked outside the building. He said two of their buses were totaled in the flooding, so losing this one would have been too much.

Thankfully, most of the supplies inside the building weren't lost but there is some water damage.

"Pretty good feeling, able to salvage most of what was in there," said Matthews.

Crews were able to contain the fire to the corner just inside the door. They believe it was an electrical problem.

Matthews said it's just another obstacle the district has had to overcome.

"We have been blessed by our neighbors, neighboring communities, you see a lot of good in people. This happened, and the flood happened, we sure are thankful for those people," Matthews said. "Another obstacle, but this community is tough and real supportive so we're in good shape."