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Fire leaves future uncertain for Weleetka

BY ANN KELLEY Modified: March 10, 2009 at 1:45 am •  Published: March 10, 2009
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photo - A utility company worker removes the meter from the back of K&J Roundup Cafe  in Weleetka.  BY JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN
A utility company worker removes the meter from the back of K&J Roundup Cafe in Weleetka. BY JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN
WELEETKA — Friday’s fire left downtown Weleetka looking like a bomb went off, Mayor Jimpsey Micco said.

There are mounds of charred brick, metal and debris covering an entire block of Main Street. The scene has become a spectacle, and people coming from other towns gawk and take snapshots with their cell phones.

"It’s too bad the town can’t sell admission, because we’re going to need the money,” Micco said.

Lost in the fire were an embroidery business, a gymnastics studio and the town’s sole florist. Weleetka’s only cafe, K&J Roundup Cafe, also burned to the ground. The cafe was a substantial sales tax generator, second only to the local markets.

None of the businesses have insurance, so it will likely be up to the town to clean up, Micco said.

He said he’s hoping the Ofuskee County commissioners will help, and that there will be volunteers with dozers, backhoes and other heavy equipment.

"We’re used to having to pitch in,” Micco said.

"It’s such a small town that everyone has to wear two or three hats to keep things going.”

Along with being Weleetka’s mayor, Micco is the fire chief and drives a school bus.

Once the fire-damaged area is cleaned up, Micco said, town officials will concentrate on redeveloping the block.

Cafe owner Gail Moore said she’d like to rebuild, but it may not be financially possible.

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