Wichita Falls_One of Texoma's largest Latin American clubs burned to the ground on Thursday morning. A massive fire wiped out Simba Discotech in Wichita Falls as the owners watched all of their hard work go up in smoke. The fire marshal said an electrical problem in the attic sparked the fire, which caused approximately $130,000 in damage.
It took more than 12 fire trucks to help firefighters knock down the flames. The flames burned as high as power poles, and even after most of the fire was extinguished, it wouldn't stop burning.
Art Ramirez, the club's owner, says he heard about the fire from his father. "Suddenly my dad calls me and tells me the Simba was on fire," he said. "I didn't believe him - I just couldn't believe it, it was on fire." At first, Ramirez says he thought it was just the back of the building that was aflame, but after looking through the door and seeing the sky, he says he realized the entire thing was destroyed.
Eventually, firefighters had to bring in a front end loader to scoop out everything from the inside - everything but the brick walls was destroyed, and those came down later.
Ramirez says Simba is only open on the weekends, so no one was there Wednesday night or Thursday morning. However, Ramirez is hopeful. "We're feeling bad, but we've got to keep up, we've got to keep up. "We've got to keep going." He says the misfortune will only push him harder to open the doors to a new club he's working on, just down the street from the destroyed club.
Ramirez says his customers are disappointed. "People love us. People like the place," he said. "We play Latin music - South America, Mexico, American people, even from the Bays - people from places all over the world." Hopefully they won't have to stay disappointed for long.
Count on 7News to keep you updated.
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