Details remain sketchy, but a huge fire burned for hours Saturday night and Sunday morning in the east central part of Claremore.
The fire is virtually destroyed Christ Presbyterian Church at 310 Weenonah Ave. and damaged a former Claremore Public School Administration structure attached to it.
Earlier, the center of the blaze had been identified as the First Presbyterian Church, 102 E. 4th St. (4th St. just east of N. Chickasaw) and, before that, as Redeemer Lutheran Church at 5th and Seminole.
All the structures are near each other, and some were used as staging areas for the army of firefighters and other emergency personnel who responded to Claremore Fire Department’s urgent request for mutual aid in containing the blaze,
The entire area was blocked off for hours by police and sheriff’s deputies, and officers are asking the public to remain away from the fire scene.
Firefighters were battling both the blaze and winds measured at by the National Weather Service at Claremore Regional Airport at 18 mph with gusts to 32 mph. The airport is located 6-7 miles east of the fire scene.
Claremore firefighters were assisted by units from the Northwest Rogers County Fire Protection District, Limestone, Verdigris, Foyil, Rolling Hills, Tri-District and Tiawah.
Claremore requested pumpers, an aerial unit, and additional manpower.
Readers reported a substantial power outage in Claremore at the same time as the fire, but it would not immediately be established if there was any connection.
There were no injuries, although firefighters required rehab services from Pafford Ambulance due to heat and exertion. No cause or damage estimate was available early Sunday morning.