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A fire in the Historic Greenwood District, where 102 years ago a white mob burned, bombed and massacred a prosperous Black community, is “under control,” according to Tulsa Fire Department.
Smoke filled the air Thursday evening as a fire engulfed an apartment complex just blocks away from the remaining businesses on Black Wall Street. Images of the flames spread quickly on social media, reminding many of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
However, a dispatcher for the Tulsa Fire Department told The Black Wall Street they don’t believe anyone was hurt in the Greenwood fire.
“The fire is under control. It only affected one building,” a dispatcher said. Sunset Plaza, a small apartment complex, was evacuated months ago, and no one currently lives there. It’s unclear what started the fire as TFD crews continue to finish putting out the blaze.
Fire in Greenwood sparks concern
In 1921, the local fire department allowed a city-sanctioned White mob to burn down over 35 square blocks, over 1,200 homes and over 200 businesses. Yet, the Tulsa Fire Department in 2023 didn’t stand by and watch. They sprang into action.
As they finish putting out the fire in Greenwood, the dispatcher for TFD said they don’t believe anyone was hurt, unlike the upwards of 300 Black men, women and children who were massacred in 1921.
In August, KJRH reported Tulsa Housing Authority planned to level the condemned building and use it for affordable housing. Before demolition day, however, Tulsa Fire Department asked to use the dilapidated building for training.
“Tulsa Fire Department actually approached us to see if they could perform some training exercises at the property,” said THA’s Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs, Ginny Hensley.
“This is really rare. You can’t recreate this kind of training. It’s in a real structure, behaves like our real fires, it’s the best training that there is,” Tulsa Fire Dept. District Chief Jason Gilkison added.
Follow The Black Wall Street Times for updates.