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Tulsa Apartment Fire Investigated As Arson

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Tulsa firefighters are pictured at the Knollwood Apartment Complex in east Tulsa. Tulsa firefighters are pictured at the Knollwood Apartment Complex in east Tulsa.
The Knollwood Apartments fire is being investigated as an arson. The Knollwood Apartments fire is being investigated as an arson.
Betty Boots and her owner escaped the fire. Betty Boots and her owner escaped the fire.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A fire at an east Tulsa apartment complex has left four families without a place to live. Witnesses describe the fire at the Knollwood Apartments as fast moving and the scene as chaotic.

The Fire Marshall is trying to determine if it was set on purpose. 

Two units in the back of Knollwood Apartments, 1018 South 107th East Avenue, were destroyed by the fire. Two others suffered serious smoke damage.

"The flames just started coming out that bottom window and going on up," said resident Kathleen Rollins.

Kathleen Rollins lives on the ground floor, across from the unit where the fire started.

"I saw the smoke. It was pouring out the door frame, and I ran back in," she said. "I tried to grab my cat, and I grabbed my phone and I dialed 911."

She was eventually able to get her cat outside. Betty Boots is a little shaken, but safe.

"I was just like, 'Oh, my God!'" Rollins said.

Marvin Thomas lives above where the fire started He's shoeless now as he barely had time to collect some necessities.

"I grabbed a shirt, a pair of pants, luckily got my wallet and my cell phone," said resident Marvin Thomas. "(I) run out, an hour later - I'm with the ranks of the homeless now."

Investigators say the fire began in a ground floor apartment Tuesday morning. They say the woman who lived here reported that her boyfriend had threatened her, even saying he planned to burn the apartment.

"For a fire to get started this quickly, early in the morning, generally doesn't happen," said District Chief Michael Atchison of the Tulsa Fire Department.

Marvin Thomas says the people who lived in that apartment were quiet and kept to themselves, and he's never heard of any threats.

"I don't know anything about that," he said. "I know around here, on the backside, there's a lot of weird things that goes on, you know."

The Red Cross has stepped in and is helping the four displaced families as the Fire Marshall works to put the pieces of the puzzle together to learn how and even possibly why the fire started.

Tulsa Fire reports that no residents of fire fighters were injured. Anyone with information is asked to call the Fire Marshall's office, 918-596-9422.

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