ANADARKO — Carolyn McBride stood near the back of her family’s business on Saturday and watched it burn. McBride, editor of the Anadarko Daily News, said the newsprint at her family’s paper was the last thing to burn as crews worked to put out the fire that destroyed her business and a neighboring bar in downtown Anadarko. "It’s like a death. People coming from everywhere, coming up and hugging us and standing with us. It’s nice to have friends like that,” McBride said. "It’s been in my husband’s family since 1937, and our daughters ... started working there when they were 15 or 16, so they grew up with it. So it’s just a very family-oriented newspaper with lots and lots of contacts that’s kind of the center to keep the news going. "We just had calls and calls from people. Somebody called and told me that somebody put it out on the Internet that the lifeblood of Anadarko was dying. They’re very concerned about us getting right back in,” she said.
Investigations beginFire crews responded to the fire about 5 a.m. to fight the flames, which destroyed the Tornado Alley Bar and the Anadarko Daily News office, according to a release sent by the Anadarko Police Department. McBride said it started in the bar and spread. Paul Hinchey, Anadarko’s assistant fire chief, said the fire was mostly out by 8:30 a.m. A cause of the fire has not been determined, and the state fire marshal has been called in to investigate. No one was injured, Hinchey said. A damage estimate was not immediately available. Only the newspaper and the bar were affected. McBride said the fire breached the front office and worked its way back. She watched a fire truck from Elgin, one of the departments called in to help, dump water on the building. The blaze was big enough that fire crews from Apache, Verden and Cement also assisted, Anadarko police said. "They said the flames were dancing at one time in the front office. You could see the flames dancing in the front office, but I didn’t see that because I was out back watching the big flame,” McBride said. "It was rather earthshattering when they opened the front doors and the water just came gushing out of it.” McBride said the paper will have to determine how much the equipment in the building was worth, but they do have insurance. Even with the building destroyed, McBride said she plans to set up shop in a nearby art gallery and do as much work as possible while the newspaper office is rebuilt. "(I will) hit the courthouse Monday morning and pick up my police reports and records and get out what we can,” McBride said.
Tornado disasterThis is the second time the news building has been hit by disaster this year. On May 13, a tornado damaged the roof of the structure, forcing the newspaper to print five issues in El Reno. The roof only recently had been repaired.