Relic home built by Lowrey family destroyed by fire Christmas Eve morning

Fire destoys an old house built by the Lowrey family around 1904-05 early Christmas Eve morning. Poteau Fire Department Chief Jon Pickel said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Photo by Jon Pickel/Poteau Fire Department
By: 
David Seeley
PDN Editor

A house built in the early 1900s by the Lowrey family at 405 North Earl Street in Poteau was destroyed by fire early Christmas Eve morning.
Poteau Fire Department Chief Jon Pickel said the call came in about a half hour after midnight.
"The call came in about 12:30 a.m. (Christmas Eve morning)," Pickel said. "There was a massive amount of fire when we arrived on the scene. We protected the exposure, then we let it go (until the fire burnt itself out). It was an unoccupied house, but it did have utilities."
Pickel said it took almost nine hours for the fire to pretty much die out.
"We got there about 12:35 a.m., and we left (at around 9 a.m.)," he said. "It was still burning inside (as of Christmas Eve morning)."
Pickel said there were no injuries to either civilians or his Poteau Fire Department firefighters, and that the fire is still under investigation as to what caused the fire.
The longtime Poteau Fire Department Chief said the house was historic and a loss for the city of Poteau.
"We lost an old house that was built in the early 1900s," Pickel said. "it was probably built around 1904 or 1905, somewhere in there. We lost an old relic that not many people knew was there. It was the old Lowrey place, the same family that built the Lowrey Hotel. The old house was built with a central heat coal-burning furnace in it. It had doors in the basement that you could drive an old Model A pick-up truck underneath the house and unload coal. "
Pickel said that another old structure on the property was not damaged in the house fire.
"In the front yard, there's something kind of cool," he said. "It looks like an outbuilding, but it's not. it's actually the old War Bond Building that sat in the middle of Dewey Avenue right in front of the Lowrey Hotel where they sold war bonds. They just moved it up to (the 405 Earl Street property) when the war was over. It's still fine. It looks like it's a little apartment now, like someone fixed it up nice. It's got pictures hanging up on the wall with utilities."
Pickel said as of 9:30 a.m. Christmas Eve morning that efforts to reach someone connected with the property were still unsuccessful.
"I'm still trying to figure out who owns it," he said. "I called a telephone number, but no one was there (to answer). We're still trying to figure out how to make notification."

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