Investigators release scant details on fire, FEMA tours continue

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (AP) - Authorities have finished their investigation of the spot in Midwest City where a fire that destroyed 70 homes began, but they wouldn't say what they found.

Fire officials said Thursday the origin and cause of the fire have been determined but that releasing details could compromise the investigation.

Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes says his department is working the case.  No arrests have been made.

Fire Marshal Jerry Lojkahas said the fire was set on April 9 near a wrecker service, but that it wasn't clear whether there was malicious intent.  He said young people from nearby schools are known to gather there and investigators were looking at the chance youngsters may have been responsible.

In related news, state and federal officials will tour fire-damaged areas in three counties today as they try to determine if any federal assistance is needed for individuals.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management says assessment teams finished work in Carter, Cleveland, Grady, McClain and Oklahoma counties and are moving on to Lincoln, Murray and Stephens counties.

The primary purpose of the tours is to determine how much of the fire damage was uninsured or underinsured.  Governor Brad henry will need that information to determine whether to ask the President for federal assistance.

Most of the damage occurred April 9, but some of the fires rekindled or continued to burn for at least another day.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Brad Craine has said that if most of the damaged or destroyed property was insured there likely will be no federal aid.  Most of the property destroyed in Choctaw and Midwest City was insured.

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