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McAlester Building Reduced to Rubble After Fire

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Posted at 6:51 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 17:51:04-05

MCALESTER, Okla. — McAlester fire crews are searching what is left of a building in downtown McAlester after a devastating fire Thursday evening.

A two-story building, that was built in the 1920s, is now reduced to rubble, as fire crews watered it down and watched for hot spots overnight.

The hot spots cannot be put out because the roof collapsed on the structure, so the crew say they are waiting on city equipment to remove the roof.

Once the roof is removed, fire crews will be able to put out the remaining hot spots.

As the fire grew Thursday evening, people in the upstairs apartments were trapped inside, falling out of windows to be rescued by people below.

The building's owner told the McAlester News-Capital that all the residents escaped, however, four were taken to a local hospital to be checked out.

The McAlester News-Capital also captured these incredible images of the fire.

It started just after 5 p.m. in a building, with a baby clothing store on the first floor, and apartments on the second, all seven tenants lost their homes.

The Red Cross is now helping with housing.

The owner of a business across the street, Taco Bob's Fiesta Grille, tells us it all went up very quickly.

"I knew there probably was freon and things like that from years ago possibly in the back of there, from when it was an operating business. And I think that's what probably ignited, and when it ignited that's probably when you saw the fire just really come up through the roof like it did, I mean those flames leaped through that roof probably 15 to 20 foot above it, it was quite a deal," said Bob Woolman, the owner of Taco Bob's Fiesta Grille.

Sadly, crews tell us a dog died.

We're told once investigators inspect the building in the daylight today, they'll work to investigate what caused this fire.

Watch 2 Works for You at 5 p.m. for Dane Hawkin's update on the devastating fire.

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