Oklahoma artist’s home, studio lost in Thursday night fire

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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CONNERVILLE, Okla. (KXII) - Local legendary artist Jim Baker’s home and studio was consumed in a house fire at 6 p.m. Thursday, but Baker said he’s thankful his oil paintings were not lost.

“I don’t have many on hand, but the ones I did are my favorites,” Baker said.

He said he and his wife have worn out two vans going to art shows and competitions around the country, but the Connerville house was their home.

“We moved here 43 years ago,” Baker said. “I’ve had this studio all that time. Painted and sold countless pictures.”

The fire started when a stove pipe got too hot.

He said while his wife called nine one one... he started rescuing the artwork.

“I’m lucky that I was able to save them,” Baker said. “I always thought of having to get them in a hurry- just in case something like a fire happened. And sure enough it did.”

The fire departments arrived in ten minutes.

“They were very quick to get out here, but it was pretty well engulfed at that time,” Baker said.

The home gave him the peace he needed for his art.

“I wanted to hide out in a wonderful place,” Baker said. “And I was a boy here.”

He said over the years they’ve added on and made memories with friends and family.

“It was making a great studio and place to live and I was real happy with it but now its back to the drawing board,” Baker said.

Baker said he’ll start rebuilding his home and studio as soon as possible. A dinner benefitting Jim and Shirley Baker will be held at the Connerville Senior Center on March 13th at 5 p.m. Contact Bruce Woods at (580) 371-5160 for more details.

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