Small Okla. town suffers one tragedy after another

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS | June 11, 2011 | 1:15 PM EDT

WELEETKA, Okla. (AP) — People in the small town of Weleetka once considered their community immune from the violence and misfortune of larger cities. They enjoyed a seemingly safe landscape of green dotted with church steeples and laced with miles of back-country roads.

But Weleetka has suffered one tragedy after another: the unsolved murder of two little girls; a house fire that killed six people; the death of a beloved youth minister in an oil tank explosion; and a fire that tore through several downtown buildings, wiping out the popular café and three other businesses — all in less than three years.

Some residents have come to believe their town of barely 900 is virtually cursed. The adversity has prompted some families to move away. Others can't afford to leave.