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Fire hits historic Horn Seed

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Firefighters spent much of Sunday afternoon on the scene of a large commercial fire.

Hazmat had to be called in to deal with potentially dangerous chemicals.

People passing by Horn Seed Company at NW Expressway and Classen noticed the fire and called 911.

"Our dispatch told us they had received several calls, anywhere from a lot of smoke coming from the building to a green colored smoke coming from the building," said OKC Battalion Chief, Bobby Lax.

When firefighters arrived on scene, around 3:45 p.m., they realized it was an agricultural type business and knew there could be dangerous materials inside.

"So our immediate concern was any hazardous materials that might be inside the building such as pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, anything that might be a danger to us and in the surrounding community," said Chief Lax.

Firefighters, though, said it was paper goods burning near some chemicals, but no hazardous materials were burned.  Dave Shumake is the owner of Horn Seed Company.

"I'm 4th generation.  We have six generations in the business right now.  But we've been here since 1921," he said.

Shumake says this is the first fire at the store.

"When someone calls you and tells you your store is on fire, man all you have are bad impressions. All you have are these terrible impressions of what could possibly be going wrong," said Shumake.

He says there would have been employees in the store at the time of the fire, but because Sunday business was slow, they made the decision to close up a little early.

"No one was here.  No one got injured.  We're happy about that."

Shumake says they do keep some dangerous chemicals in the store, like ammonium sulfate, but that they keep fire extinguishers throughout the buildings and have them routinely checked.

He'll now work with firefighters to determine a cause and says a fire won't keep this Oklahoma City landmark down for long.

"I hope not.  We just want to get back in, get re-established and get back opened for business."

Once the fire was out, firefighters were concerned about the water runoff, if any of the water used to fight the fire had come into contact with any of those chemicals.

They called in the Department of Environmental Quality, Stormwater Quality to help them deal with that issue and make sure everything out there was safe.