Oklahoma Daily Publishes After Fire Destroys Offices

By: A weekend fire that destroyed the building that housed The Anadarko Daily News didn't stop the newspaper from publishing on Monday.

The Saturday morning fire that began in a bar next door to the newspaper in southwest Oklahoma destroyed, among other things, a 1962 printing press and 60 rolls of newsprint weighing 1,000 pounds each. The newspaper is being laid out in a nearby art gallery and printed in El Reno, publisher and editor Carolyn McBride said.

"People said we lost the newspaper," McBride said Monday as the rest of the newspaper's 14 employees scurried around, working to make their deadline. "We said, 'No, we're just around the corner.' We lost our building. We didn't lose our newspaper, because the newspaper is in our spirit."

McBride, who runs the 4,200-circulation newspaper with her husband, Joe, said the Daily News dates back to April 15, 1901. Joe McBride's family bought the newspaper in 1937 and has owned it since.

The building that housed the newspaper dated from 1906, she said. Anadarko police have said the blaze was reported about 5 a.m. Saturday and destroyed the newspaper office and the Tornado Alley Bar. It took firefighters more than three hours to extinguish the fire, the cause of which has not been determined.

No injuries were reported. The fire came a little more than three months after a tornado that hit Anadarko also damaged the Daily News building.

On Monday, in the alley behind the burned-out building, Daily News pressman Larry Botone surveyed the damage. The burned rolls of newsprint littered the alley, along with pieces of roofing that caved in during the fire.

"I just got that sucker fixed," he said of the Goss Community press. "I put new rollers in it. That Saturday paper was the best-looking paper we'd put out in a long time."

The fire happened during a busy news weekend in this town of about 6,600 people, located about 60 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. In addition to the fire, a female pastor was found dead in her church building on Sunday morning.

The publisher said the Daily News bought new computers and office supplies over the weekend for its temporary quarters. She said the Oklahoma Press Association offered the newspaper assistance, and the OPA's executive director, Mark Thomas, planned to visit the Daily News on Monday.


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