McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 2, 2013

McAlester firefighters fight blaze near U.S. 69

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — McAlester firefighters squelched flames in an abandoned building Thursday afternoon near the U.S. Highway 69 and Business 69 junction in McAlester.

Catrina Lee, 28, of McAlester, was driving near the area to pick up her three children at a bus stop when she saw flames begin to engulf the structure. “I’m the one who called 911,” Lee said.

McAlester Fire Chief Brett Brewer said the fire call came it at 3:12 p.m. Thursday and first responders arrived on the scene of the fire at 3:15.

Lee said she was in the area waiting to pick up her children and saw a man and woman raking brush around the building. She said all of a sudden she saw the building start to burn from the bottom.

By the time firemen arrived to squelch the flames, the building was completely engulfed, Brewer said. The structure is a total loss and damages are estimated at $10,000, Brewer said. “We are still trying to determine who owns the property,” Brewer said.

Firefighters worked to put out the fire until 6:45 p.m., Brewer said. “The building was an old cold storage facility,” Brewer said. “It’s where trucks used to pick up milk before going on their routes years ago.”

The McAlester Fire Department responded to the incident with 13 firemen, four engines and a ladder truck. Brewer said the Savanna Fire Department also sent two firemen and one tanker truck to help squelch the flames that had spread to surrounding grass.

There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire, Brewer said, and the cause is currently under investigation.



Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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