Fire Damages Barnsdall Landmark
Sunday, May 14th 2006, 4:39 PM CDT
An early Sunday morning fire in Osage County destroyed a small town's historical landmark and damaged two other buildings. It happened in dowtown Barnsdall, about 20 miles southwest of Bartlesville.
As News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims reports, many Osage County veterans are taking the loss pretty hard.
86 years of Barnsdall history went up in smoke in a matter of hours, as flames tore through the American Legion Post 227.
Post 227 commander Bob Perrier: "Boy, it was just black black black like tar paper that's what it was. It was coming outta there. Gosh it was terrible."
Bob Perrier has been post commander for 16 years and his wife helped run the craft store.
Ashli Sims: you spent a lot of time there?
Norma Perrier: "yep, lotta work."
Barnsdall's fire chief says the calls started coming in around 5 AM Sunday. He says by the time fire fighters arrived, the building was pretty far gone.
Barnsdall Fire chief B J Dildine: "it was pretty well engulfed already through the ceiling
The fire damaged two nearby buildings, but fire fighters were concerned it could have spread down the whole block. "We got Bartlesville, we got Washington County all around. Bartlesville saved us. The type of equipment we got, we couldn't handle something like this."
Post 227 is now a shell of its former self, but the commander tells me it used to be one of the largest in Osage County with about 80 members, many life-long.
Bob Perrier says they were able to save a few things, some pictures and other keepsakes, but what the fire didn't get, water and smoke have probably ruined. "Its just one of them things you never know whats going to happen."
The town will mourn the old landmark but Perrier says they will try to build something out of these ashes.