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Fire doesn't stop shoppers for rare, used books at landmark Oklahoma City bookstore

A Dec. 15 fire damaged the Aladdin Book Shoppe in Oklahoma City, but the store remained open for Christmas business.
by Robert Medley Published: December 26, 2012

Rick Krause, 62, of Oklahoma City, and his son Alexander Krause, 26, of Pasadena, Calif., shopped patiently for books as they walked down the aisles with flashlights in hand.

Others wore headlamps, like miners in a coal mine.

It looked like the dark basement of a library, but a smoky smell lingered in the air.

Book lovers could find rare and used books at Aladdin Book Shoppe during the final few shopping days before Christmas, as long as they used some extra lighting.

A fire at the landmark Oklahoma City bookstore came at a bad time, the co-owner said.

Paula Walker opened the shop despite the smell of smoke and lack of electricity and heat. Crews had not restored electrical power Friday, six days after the fire.

“The week before Christmas is a horrible time for this to happen,” Walker said.

The fire broke out about 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in an awning over the bookstore in the Mayfair Village shopping center at NW 50 and N May Avenue.

Walker was grateful Oklahoma City firefighters were able to respond quickly and knock down the blaze that caused about $22,000 damage. A firewall kept the flames from spreading.

Walker said the old books in the store could have been an inferno if the fire had spread. There are more than 40,000 books in the shop.

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by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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