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Fletcher Fire Totals Vacant Building

FLETCHER Okla_ A huge plume of smoke hung over Fletcher Monday, after a storage building that's served many uses over the years was leveled in a fire.

Elgin firefighters were the first on scene at the corner of Selby and Shields. When they arrived, 30-foot-high flames were so intense they had no choice but to move their trucks a block away. Investigators haven't been able to confirm the cause of the fire yet. Some witnesses told firefighters they heard explosions just before the fire erupted. Others said they saw kids running from the building. So, investigators haven't ruled anything out, including fireworks. They're just thankful no one was injured.

In a matter of minutes, a building that had stood for several decades was gone.

"Well I looked out my kitchen window, and I saw smoke coming out of the top of the doors by the roof," resident Gary Rich said. "Five or ten minutes later, she was all engulfed. It was gone."

Elgin Fire Chief Mike Baker said before he and his guys even got on scene, they knew they were faced with something bad.

"You could see it from Elgin," Baker said. "We could see the flames over the tree lines coming from two miles away."

Despite 30-foot flames, Baker said his department, along with two others, made the decision to scale back. Departments are often faced with that decision when working in small towns.

"When you do come to a town and hook to a hydrant, you can deplete their water system pretty quickly, especially with multiple agencies here like we have now," Baker said. "If the structure is gone and there's no property we can save or people, then we make the decision to cut back on the water and protect the exposures around it."

This decision is even more important during the hot summer months.

"Right now, water is in short supply," Baker said. "These are the worst months: June, July, and August. With the rainfall not being very much, we could deplete the water system very quick."

We do know that at least one antique tractor was destroyed in the fire, along with what looked to be an old cotton gin and a couple of trailer with hay.

 

 

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