Tulsa Fire: Food On Stove Caused Early-Morning Fire - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Fire: Food On Stove Caused Early-Morning Fire

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Denver Park Apartments is located at 17th and Riverside. Denver Park Apartments is located at 17th and Riverside.
Upon arrival, Tulsa firefighters found one apartment on fire. Upon arrival, Tulsa firefighters found one apartment on fire.
The rest of the apartment complex suffered smoke and water damage. The rest of the apartment complex suffered smoke and water damage.

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Unattended food on a stovetop is the cause of a Tulsa apartment fire early Monday morning, according to the Tulsa Fire Department.

The Red Cross is helping nearly a dozen people who were forced out of their homes after the fire.

The fire happened at 5:18 a.m. at the Denver Park apartments at 17th and Riverside. The fire caused heavy damage to one unit and substantial damage to one next door.

When Tulsa firefighters arrived to the scene, the night sky was glowing with flames shooting from a third floor apartment. When a fire happens that early, there's always the likelihood someone is inside.

"There were people hanging from balconies needing rescue," said Bill French, Tulsa Fire Department.

While one company of firefighters attacked the flames, others rescued residents.

Vini Nakpodia was one of them. With flames spreading so rapidly, Vini couldn't get out. Firefighters helped him down a ladder from his upstairs apartment.

He's one of five people rescued by firefighters.

"It was really scary. The hallway was full of smoke and I couldn't get out through the hallway, so I had to call for the fire department," said Vini Nakpodia, fire victim.

Fire Investigator Captain Scott Rutherford determined the fire started when an occupant fell asleep after starting to cook something.

He was taken to a hospital with burns to 25 to 30 percent of his body, but his injuries aren't believed to be life threatening.

Another person was hospitalized with burn injuries. Two others were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

As for Vini Nakpodia, it was a terrifying start to the day.

"Very scary; very, very scary," said Vini Nakpodia.

Nakpodia is thankful no one is seriously hurt, hopeful he can get back into his apartment soon and grateful for the help of firefighters.

"I appreciate their help. Without their help I don't know what would have happened to me," said Vini Nakpodia.

Residents on the first and second floors were able to return to their apartments.

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