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Fire Burns for Hours, Shuts Down Downtown Snyder

A fire broke out in a building in downtown Snyder, OK Friday morning, destroying at least three buildings.
The state fire marshal's office will take over the investigation into what caused a fire that ultimately closed a Texoma town's downtown area and high school.

Fire officials on scene say it started in a storage building off E St.

Snyder Schools Superintendent Robert Trammell says he heard loud banging coming from the building, which backs up to the school administration building, around 10:15 this morning.

Seconds later he says the smell of smoke was overwhelming, so he called 9-1-1.

A fire had started inside the storage building and today's heavy winds caused those flames to spread quickly.

Officials from 18 agencies reported to the scene and worked to contain the flames.

Their priority was making sure the fire didn't spread any more than it already had, especially because Snyder High School is one block south of the point of origin.

"The initial concern was the wind was out of the south, so it was going to travel to the north," Trammell says. "I knew the student body was okay at the moment, but the main things was to get emergency response people on site."

Kiowa County Sheriff Bill Lancaster says, "When we first arrived on scene, the number of citizens that were going into buildings that were not yet on fire but getting into the buildings and removing property of others, putting it into the back of pick-ups and however they could get it out to save other people's stuff...it was incredible. I think it says a lot about the Snyder community."

Snyder High School students were released when officials realized that high winds were causing the fire to spread.

The fire burned for about five hours and destroyed the school administration building, the storage building, and Mountain Valley Flower Shop, a neighboring business.

Even though flames burned for several hours and were carried by high winds, no injuries were reported and witnesses say that's all thanks to the hard work and quick response by the 18 agencies that banded together to keep Snyder safe.
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