BARTLESVILLE – Fire swept through the Habitat for Humanity warehouse in Bartlesville early Wednesday morning, destroying everything in its path.
Bill Hollander, Bartlesville Fire Department public information officer, said firefighters received a call around 1 a.m. that the warehouse located in the 900 Block of South Maple Avenue was burning.
"The fire pretty much consumed everything inside," Hollander said. "All of the building materials they use on the houses they build, all of their records, all of the tools they use making houses – they were all in there."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the department does not suspect foul play, Hollander said.
Known as a grass-roots volunteer program with a philosophy of "people helping people," Bartlesville Area Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that works in partnership with families in need to help them build or renovate homes in which they will live.
Habitat families are selected on the basis of housing need, income guidelines, and willingness to contribute 300 hours of volunteer labor on projects.
Donna Fenstermaker, Bartlesville Area Habitat for Humanity representative, said the organization and its volunteers are working now to assess the losses by compiling a list of all the items that were in the burned warehouse.
Among the items destroyed were doors and windows that were to be installed on a new Habitat for Humanity house under construction in Bartlesville, she said. Some volunteers personal tools were lost in the fire as well.
"It’s awful," Fenstermaker said. "I understand how people feel when their house has been lost in a fire or a tornado and it’s just gone."
Contributions of cash to help Habitat for Humanity recoup its losses and move forward with its housing projecets can be mailed to P.O. Box 1284, Bartlesville, OK, 74005.