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Wagoner city officials working with structural engineer on buildings burned in fire

Posted at 6:23 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 19:23:20-04

WAGONER, Okla. -- The future of downtown Wagoner is still uncertain after Sunday’s blaze.

The city is working to negotiate a contract with a structural engineer who will figure out if the buildings can be salvaged.

Several city officials, including Mayor Albert Jones, walked off the burned buildings with the engineer Friday afternoon.

“He doesn’t really have a preliminary suggestion on what to do other than if they are unstable, we as a public entity will have to shore the fronts of them up because of the streets, pedestrians and businesses,” Mayor Jones said.

Mayor Jones said if they were to put up beams to support the front of the buildings, it would allow the city and business owners in to start removing the debris. It would also allow them to open the northbound lane on Main Street.

Owl Drug owner, Brittany Villandry, and her husband are not waiting around for the buildings to be redone. They have been working 24/7 since the fire.

“Our main priority right now is getting back up and running so we an serve our customers again,” Villandry said.

Owl Drug has been a staple in Wagoner. They have been housed in one of the store fronts that burned for almost 115 years.

Nonetheless, they are trudging forward. The pharmacy moved to another shopping center nearby and plans to open its doors Monday or Tuesday.

“We were told by everybody not to expect to be up and running for a month at least,” Villandry said. “We’ve done everything physically possible to reopen.”

Villandry said they will have the same phone number at their new location at 1524 W. Highway 51.

The pharmacy plans to move back into the historic downtown. They hope the place they have called home for so long does not need to be torn down.

“I think the hope right now is they can save the facade and rebuild behind so we can preserve the bit of history,” Villandry said.

The city’s goal is to have the contract signed by Friday so the engineer can get to work. Mayor Jones said if they did, there could be an answer as early as Monday afternoon.

 

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