Weleetka works on rebuilding

Weleetka, Oklahoma (AP) 6-09

Residents of this Okfuskee County city are waiting for rubble to be cleared away and a local cafe to be rebuilt three months after a fire burned down almost half of Main Street.

The buildings lost in the March 6 fire housed the K&G Roundup Cafe, Weleetka Floral and Gifts, an embroidery shop and a gymnastics studio.

Cafe owner Gail Moore said the restaurant was not insured. Therefore, she and her husband are waiting to remove the rubble. They plan to get a loan.

“We didn’t realize that the cleanup would be as difficult as it is,” Moore, 44, said.

The Moores first thought county officials would help with the cleanup. Instead, the Creek Nation is handling bids for cleanup because Gail Moore is a tribal member.

 

The fire was on one side of Main Street, but the heat cracked the windows of buildings across the street and the remains smoldered for a month, said Brandon Ogle, a volunteer firefighter.

State fire marshal’s office spokesman James Simms said the fire’s cause is under investigation.

The flower shop and gymnastics studio rubble has been cleared. Alveda Diggins, town clerk/treasurer, said the business owners have insurance.

“While we are not sure what they are going to do afterward, we have been told by each owner that they will rebuild,” Diggins, 59, said.

Since the fire, town sales tax income has been cut, she said.

“We are ready for them to get back into business,” Diggins said. “If they need any assistance, we will be happy to help them.”

“With the Roundup, we would have people from all over the state and the surrounding states stop by just to eat at the Roundup ,” said David Hudlin, manager of the General Hardware store.

Without the cafe, the two grocery stores and a gas station are serving hamburgers, pizza and coffee in the community.

 

 

 

 

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