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Fort Washita landmark burns to the ground

By: KXII-TV Staff Email
By: KXII-TV Staff Email

BRYAN CO., OK -- A historic Texoma landmark is now just pile of charred rubble. A replicated military barracks building on Fort Washita burned to the ground Sunday morning.

"By the time we got here, it was already totally engulfed, there was nothing that we could actually salvage," Tom Atkinson with the Silo Fire Department, said.

Around 7:30am, nearly a dozen fire departments arrived to the Fort Washita historic site.

What was once a two story, replica of a military barracks, has now been reduced to ashes.

"It's just devastating, once people find out what's really happened here. So much history has been involved, in Fort Washita. It's really a sad event," Atkinson, said.

Fire departments were called in from across western Bryan County, after neighbors reported visible flames.

For 23 years, Park Superintendent, Larry Marcy, has worked to keep the site beautiful, as a popular tourist destination, and gathering place for special events.

When he arrived Sunday morning, it was a very different story.

"I was about 5 miles down the road and could see the smoke, and I knew what was going on. By the time I got here, the building was completely engulfed in flames. And part of it had then collapsed," Marcy, said.

The two story building was completed in 1972, and just this past July, received a $45,000 renovation, including new paint and the addition of 19 white pillars.

Staff at the site say, they were preparing to host a group of actors in the barracks for several weekends of military reenactments.

"I know a lot of people are going to be disappointed because this was kind of a landmark, for this part of the country," Marcy, said.

Marcy estimates that the value of the current building was somewhere around $2 million.

Site staff say no one was inside when the fire broke out.

The state fire marshal will continue an investigation a cause.

For more information about Fort Washita, visit the website -

http://www.okhistory.org/outreach/military/fortwashita.html


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