WAURIKA LAKE, OK (KSWO) - Just when things were getting back to normal for the Waurika Lake Marina after the severe drought almost forced them out of business, a fire consumed the marina in just a matter of minutes. The fire erupted Monday morning. They were working on replacing the roof of the marina when a spark from the construction caused the blaze. The boats docked at the marina were not damaged, but the shop at the marina was a total loss.
Reese says they have faced floods, droughts, hail and now fire, but it hasn't forced them to close their doors yet. She says they will set up a makeshift shop so they can service their customers this year. But says nothing can replace the memories from the past 15 years they made in that shop.
"It finally hit me this morning that it's all gone," said Reese. "Everything we worked for. It's all gone."
Reese says she couldn't even walk into what was left of the shop until several hours after the fire was put out.
"I didn't want to see what used to be," said Reese. "I mean it was just all melted, and you can't really recognize some of the stuff until you actually see where it's at. That fire was just unbelievable."
All of their inventory, photos of customers' prize catches and even their family's personal belongings went up in flames. Except for a bronze plaque commemorating Reese's father, who loved the marina.
"I think dad was watching over us," said Reese.
The marina has been through extreme drought, devastating floods and severe hail damage over the past ten years.
"After each one of the things that we went through we've came back stronger," said Reese.
While they wait for the insurance money to get them started on a new shop, the makeshift shop will also cost money.
Waurika shop owner Tracy Woods is working on making a fundraising shirt to sell, and part of the profits will go to helping Reese's family get the marina back on track.
"They're friends of ours, and they really struggled the last few years with the drought and now the fire, and I felt like I should just help them out," said Woods.
Click here for more information on purchasing the Waurika Lake Marina fundraising shirt or call 580-228-2300.
Reese says what she needs from people now is what they did during the drought. To come to Waurika Lake, and come to the marina when they are back open.
"This is not my lake," said Reese." I know I have a business here. But it's your lake, and we were doing everything that we could to stay open for them. They were doing everything they could to keep us open. And I know that that's what will happen again."
The marina is still planning on opening up on March 19th, but they are unsure if they can get the makeshift store set up and restock it in time. Reese says she will let 7NEWS know if that opening date changes.