A large fire is raging in the downtown area of Wagoner, according to Wagoner County Deputy Nick Mahoney.
At least five historic buildings have burned, and the fire is jumping from building to building, according to eyewitness reports.
At least one city block has been burned.
Emergency officials are asking people to stay as far away as possible for their own safety and to allow public safety crews to work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Eyewitnesses report fire staff “pulling back” with no water hoses going anymore, and that Broken Arrow Fire Department has been called in.
Here is an update from longtime reporter Liz McMahan:
Fire fighting units from Wagoner, Okay, Toppers, Broken Arrow and several other communities responded to the fire.
The fire appeared to have started in a two-story building that housed Wagoner Auction Service. There was also an apartment upstairs.
It gutted that building and spread north to Owl Drug Store and damaged at least two other buildings adjacent to those.
Both the destroyed buildings were built around 1900. Owl Drug had opened in 1902 and only had four owners during that time. It was Wagoner’s second-oldest retail business.
The building housing the auction service originally housed Walters Brothers Hardware and had a series of owners until that business closed in the 1970s.
UPDATE 9:40 p.m.: Officials are asking people to moderate their water usage so there is enough to fight the fire.
The Wagoner fire chief, Kelly Grooms, says the fire has burned four two-story buildings and one one-story building.
“On these older buildings, sometimes you have to sacrifice something that’s already burning to save the rest,” he said. “Right now, we’re watching the buildings in the middle burn and saving the ones next to them.”
He said he has no idea at this point how the blaze started, but they do know it started in an apartment building. Lack of firewalls between the buildings contributed to the spread of the blaze, Grooms said. Four families have been displaced so far.
Owl Drug and Gametime Nutrition have been burned, according to Wagoner’s mayor. Owl Drug had just remodeled.
The fire is apparently no longer spreading.