Matthew McClain said his father opened McClain's Furniture Store in 1952, the same year Matthew was born.

On Friday morning, the landmark furniture store at 1305 S. 32nd St. burned to the ground. The antiques and fine furniture inside were lost, the street sign melted. Decorative iron silhouettes and statues of wildlife and cowboys remained.

Assistant Fire Marshal Mike Haley said the fire, reported around 3 or 3:30 a.m. Friday, likely originated in a new office area near the front of the store.

A cause remained undetermined and might not be determined, he said.

"It had so much fire load inside of it," Haley said, adding that there were no fire sprinklers.

"There hadn't been any upgrades or added on since, I want to say he told me the 1970s," he said. "So you got to go by what the fire code was in the 70s when they built it."

Haley said he could not estimate the loss of contents.

"He had a lot of unique antique stuff," he said. "It had been added onto at least three times."

McClain said he and the other employee had left at quitting time Thursday evening.

"Then I heard a knock at my door just after 4 this morning letting me know the place was totally on fire," he said on Friday. "I don't know anything at all about the cause of it."

Fire crews remained at the scene, extinguishing hot spots.

Haley said nobody was in the building at the time of the fire, and nobody was seriously injured putting it out.

Many units responded to the fire.

"We had a second alarm minimum," Haley said, explaining that a second alarm would involve four pumper units, two ladders and a rescue truck.

Haley said fire crews did a good job putting out the intense fire.

"They normally are pretty aggressive when they come on scene," he said. "There are huge girder beams that just twisted down like they were nothing."

McClain said he's doing what he can to tend to customers first. He said only he and another man worked at the store.

"And we had been together maybe 10 years," he said. "We got a lot of customers that we're in contact with today and manufacturers, as well." 

McClain's was known throughout the region for its antiques and fine furniture.

Bennie Lee McClain founded the furniture store and remained active with the store until he died in 2013.

Matthew McClain recalled working at the store since he was 5 years old. 

The store had multiple additions over the years.

"I do know it was a long ways from one end to the other," McClain said. "I got my exercise every day, that's for sure."

Haley said the store had been there as long as he could remember.

"It's a staple here in Muskogee," Haley said. "It had a ton of antiques, even modern furniture. There was a Model T in there. It's depressing to see so many things in there destroyed so fast." 

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