Tonkawa marijuana grow fire still under investigation

by Jordan Green

A medical marijuana grow facility in Tonkawa went up in smoke Thursday morning, covering parts of the downtown area with a black cloud for several hours.

The fire was one of the first medical marijuana grow facility fires in Oklahoma, Tonkawa Fire Chief Robert Fehring said.

The facility was destroyed, and some nearby businesses closed because of the thick smoke in the area.

Firefighters from Tonkawa and Blackwell were dispatched to the Kongfei Green, LLC, Medical Marijuana Grow facility at 9:24 a.m., Fehring said.

The blaze was extinguished by 1:10 p.m., but firefighters remained on the scene until 4:12 p.m.

The roof of the building caved in on firefighters while they were inside the building, but all were able to exit.

“It was a scary moment for us,” Fehring said. “We went into a defensive attack and just stayed on the exterior.”

Firefighters used ladder trucks to “drown” the facility with water, Fehring said. One firefighter sustained minor injuries but was treated and released from Stillwater Medical Center – Blackwell.

Although the facility was used to grow medical marijuana, Fehring said he didn’t smell any marijuana going up in flames.

“It was burning, but I never noticed it until probably after we started cleaning up,” he said. “Then I noticed the smell. … Mainly, it was just the plastic and stuff from the roof burning.”

Officials continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.