Group given 30 days to create plan to restore burned buildings in downtown Guthrie

GUTHRIE, Okla. – City leaders in Guthrie have taken a step toward repairing two historic buildings that were damaged by a massive fire earlier this year.

In February, a large fire destroyed two iconic businesses in downtown Guthrie and caused damage to a third.

“It’s a key piece of Guthrie’s identity,” James Long, a downtown Guthrie business owner, told News 4.

When Long saw the massive flames shooting from two buildings near his business, he called 911 and knew he had to act fact.

“I couldn’t find anything. I was looking for a building that had a water spigot or a water hose. I couldn’t find anything. The fire actually started on the back patio or the back porch of the Furrows Flower Shop here in town,” Long said.

Fire crews from all over Logan County rushed to the scene. Fire officials say the strong winds caused the fire to quickly spread through the Furrow Flower Shop and Double Stop Fiddle Shop.

During a Guthrie City Council meeting on Tuesday, council members discussed the future of the buildings.

Both of the buildings are owned by Byron Berline, who recently raised funds to open a new fiddle shop in Guthrie.

City council members said that either Berline or a private investor could restore the buildings, or the city could demolish them.

"I want this building to be resurrected if at all possible," Berline said during the meeting, according to the Guthrie News Page. "Betty and I can't afford to do it. We want to keep going. That is why we bought another building straight east. I hate to see it demolished, but if it has to be that's what it would be."

However, other members of the community said they were ready to step up and pay for repairs.

The council ultimately voted to provide 30 days for organizers to create a firm bid and commitment to stabilize the buildings.

"That's the motion we have been looking for. Someone is committed to do something and if they can do it within 30 days, then we may know where we are at," said council member Gaylord Z. Thomas.

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