Employees hope business damaged by fire rebuilds

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Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 2/13 9:16 am Published: 2/12 4:54 pm

TULSA, Okla. - Fire gutted a building and brought down the roof at a south Tulsa business.

It happened Tuesday night at an office building near 71st and Sheridan.

“It was just unreal, it was a shock,” said Brandy Donelson, an employee at the company, Petroleum Equipment Institute. FOX23 was there when employees returned to PEI for the first time.

“Hearing about it first was hard to believe, now seeing it in person is a whole other level of devastation, it's pretty bad,” said Donelson.

PEI’s general manager said there is already temporary office space arranged for his 11 local employees.

FOX23 talked with one of them, Rex Brown, as fire crews worked to get the fire under control. He shed some light on what could have caused it.

“About 9:30 we got the call that the burglar alarm had went off and a few minutes later the fire alarm, we were having some remodeling work done and the theory right now is something happened there, electric spark or something, we don't know,” said Brown.

The official cause is still under investigation.

But PEI’s executice vice president told FOX23 fire officials believe the fire started in the exact area where renovation crews were working.

“Just unbelievable, and to think about all the personal items along with all of the things we can't get back,” said Brown.

While this trade association works with gas stations and other companies in the fuel and energy business, there was no petroleum or anything else hazardous here when the fire started.

PEI’s vice president also told FOX23 the company will likely demolish what's left of the building and rebuild in the same area.

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