Fire Destroys PEI Headquarters in Tulsa (Slideshow)
No one injured in blaze at Petroleum Equipment Institute
TULSA, Okla. -- The Tulsa, Okla., headquarters of the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) was destroyed by a fire on Feb. 11, 2014. Fire officials said no one was in the building at the time.
The building was fully engulfed in flames Tuesday night when firefighters arrived, just hours after employees went home for the day, according to a report by NewsOn6.com.
Employees woke Wednesday morning, to a day of recovery, instead of work.
The Tulsa Fire Department got the call at about 9:15 p.m.
The fire was reported when smoke spread next door to the Valero convenience store, where a customer got the attention of store owner Dave Hubble.
"He said, 'Is that supposed to be smoking like that?' And I go, 'Absolutely not!'" Hubble told the news outlet.
Firefighters arrived to find the 5,000-square-foot building on fire. They began an interior attack but were forced back out when the roof started to collapse. They also had to deal with the extreme cold.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, said the report.
The fire also destroyed years of the trade association's documents and mementos.
"We can replace the computers and the books and everything else that got burned, but we can't really replace the employees," PEI staffer Chris Bouldin told the news outlet.
PEI issued a press statement saying, "Fortunately, no one was harmed; however, the building was severely damaged. By noon Wednesday, PEI staff had relocated to a temporary space. … We are grateful to you for all the well wishes we have received. While this is a challenging circumstance, we remain honored to serve such a wonderful membership. We will keep you updated as more news becomes available."