Vacant Bever Family Home Destroyed By Fire
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Empty for nearly two years, the former Bever family home on Magnolia Court was left in ruins after it burned early Saturday morning.
"If this was any other house, we'd treat it exactly the same,” said Captain Derek Fulps of the Tulsa Fire Department. “We're all here, we're all professionally trained and we know what to do when we show up on scene, and that's what we're gonna do."
Next door neighbor Pat McGaha said others don't treat the house as objectively. She's used to curiosity and vandalism.
"They try to take things, pieces of wood from the side and stuff like that ya know,” McGaha said.
She says a total of three people wandered around the house overnight, coming and going, and spending time in the backyard. Broken Arrow police have not confirmed that information.
"That's when I looked toward the back of the house, and that's when I saw the smoke and got ready to call the police,” said McGaha.
Firefighters spent an hour putting out the flames.
"I’m just speechless,” City of Broken Arrow Councilman Mike Lester stated.
The fire comes just weeks after Broken Arrow Councilman Lester and other city leaders unveiled plans to replace the home with a gazebo and a butterfly waystation.
The city says this could either slow down or speed up the process of getting a memorial garden on the property. Either way, city leaders and neighbors are determined to make it happen.
"There's a lot of moving parts at this point that yesterday we didn't have to worry about,” said Lester
Lester stated aside from waiting for firefighters to finish their investigation, he may have to work with an insurance company before neighbors see the transition.
"The house is nothing but tragedy, and it needs to come down,” said Lester.
You can donate to the foundation by clicking on the Tulsa Community Foundation website and select "Bever Family-First Responders Memorial Garden Fund," or make out a check to the "Bever Family -First Responders Fund" and mail to the Tulsa Community Foundation located at 7030 South Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136.
Councilman Lester has also set up a GoFundMe page for donations here: Bever House First Responders Fund