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Tulsa Firefighter Loses Home To Wind-Fueled Fire

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An east Tulsa house fire has sparked a grass fire near 15th Street and 177th. An east Tulsa house fire has sparked a grass fire near 15th Street and 177th.
Tulsa firefighters try to get the grass fire under control in Thursday afternoon's strong winds. Tulsa firefighters try to get the grass fire under control in Thursday afternoon's strong winds.
Firefighters respond to a house fire in east Tulsa. The family also  lost two of their five dogs. Firefighters respond to a house fire in east Tulsa. The family also lost two of their five dogs.

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa firefighter is helpless as his own home catches fire Thursday. Paul and Rebecca Hayes have lived in the east Tulsa house for several years and now it's a total loss.

The house fire started around 4 p.m., and some hay bales were still burning late Thursday night because the wind keeps whipping up the sparks.

The family has lived in the house for several years, and now it's a total loss. The Hayes family can't believe they celebrated Christmas in this house just days ago.

"I've lived in this house since I was probably 2-years-old, and I've never experienced a house fire or anything," said 14-year-old resident Trevor Hayes.

Trevor was home alone with his friend when it happened.

"We were in the backyard raking leaves, and we hear the fire alarms go off so we walk inside, and my couch was on fire," he said.

"The windows started busting, the flames started coming out the windows. It got really bad. Really bad, really quick," said Austin Thurman, Trevor's friend.

"It spread really fast. It went from the couch the whole house in probably five minutes," Trevor said.

The family of four watched firefighters knock down bricks to knock down flames, then the flames spread to the Hayes' land next to their house.

"You can feel the winds blowing' and we've got some high fields here with grass, and we've had several grass fires break off," said District Chief Roger Williams of the Tulsa Fire Department.

Those stubborn fires took up more of the firefighter's time than the house fire, but never threatened any other homes.

"We walked in right at the door and try to get the dogs out and they wouldn't come. Only the little dog ran out," Austin Thurman said.

Hayes says his parents and sister are still soaking up what happened.

"They're doing pretty good. I'm surprised by how good they are doing. I'm just glad we're all here," Trevor said.

The Hayes saved what they could from the house, which wasn't much, but they walk away with one precious thing -- their lives.

"It hit me a minute ago. But, now that I think about it, if everyone's out of the house, we're okay," said 14-year-old Trevor Hayes.

Fire officials are investigating the cause. The family says they had an electric blanket on the couch, and that may have shorted out and sparked the fire.

The Tulsa Fire Department confirmed that the home is owned by a Tulsa firefighter.

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