Firefighters And Alert Bystanders Save Burning Atoka Business - - No One Gets You Closer

Firefighters And Alert Bystanders Save Burning Atoka Co. Business


ATOKA COUNTY, OK -- A fire inside a repair shop threatened to destroy the building, but employees believe alert drivers saved their business.

"There was nobody in the shop," says truck repair shop manager Daniel Stanton.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Willie's Truck Repair on Highway 69/75 at the south end of Atoka.

"We'd been working earlier but we'd shut the shop down yesterday and we were up at the house and somebody going by saw smoke coming out the door and called," says Stanton.

Even though he lives behind the garage, Stanton says he found out what was going on from Jim Mullins, who has a business across the road. Mullins heard about the fire on a police scanner and brought his tow truck to help.

"The fire department had the flames down before he pulled it out and he pulled it out and they made sure the fire was completely out," says Stanton.

"I didn't know if we had anything left," says shop owner Wilburn Bridges.

Bridges says he was in Sherman listening with worry to the phone calls about his business.

"I counted. We've got ten fire extinguishers around the shop. Not a one was used, but if you run up there and the cabs in flames like that and you think it's gonna blow up anytime, you're gonna run," says Bridges. "It's full of diesel. That's why we think it's gonna blow up, why anybody thinks it's gonna blow up."

"We'll put the lights back in the shop and we'll be back to work tomorrow, so it didn't shut the shop down. It didn't ruin the shop or anything," says Stanton. "We're going to have to replace some lights and some wiring up in the ceiling part and clean up a bunch of soot, but the only real damage was to the cab of the truck."

And that was an unexpected but welcome present this Christmas. Atoka, Caney, and Tushka firefighters responded to the scene and were able to put out the fire. There was some damage to some wiring and insulation, but the building remains intact.