Explosion Throws Woman From Tulsa Duplex

Sunday, May 3rd 2015, 7:57 am
By: News On 6

Witnesses say they saw a woman thrown from an east Tulsa house during an explosion. Firefighters say the woman was taken to a local hospital with severe burns.

When firefighters arrived, there was a lot of heat, and the house was heavily involved with fire.

"All I felt was this big boom, and I came outside and I starting running," neighbor Joshua Shamlin said. "She was on fire and started rolling on the grass."

The right side of the duplex in the 1700 block of South 132 East Court exploded overnight.

"All of a sudden, I heard a boom," neighbor Jane Hannah said. "I couldn't believe it, and when I came out last night, the insulation it looked like it was snowing."

Jessica Anderson found the woman covered in burns and on the front lawn before firefighters arrived."I think everyone was in shock of something like this happening," Anderson said. "Her window to her living room was outside. The whole frame was on the car windshield... it was just crazy."

"The patient was actually on this side of the street when we got here," said District Chief Bob Stern, Tulsa Fire Department. 

"She was actually blown out of the house. She came out through the front of this house with these windows and this glass to the other side of the street."

Firefighters were able to confine the fire damage to one side of the duplex although there will be smoke and water damage on the other side, Stern said. 

Four residents from the other side of the duplex were helped by the Tulsa Area Red Cross, according to Tulsa Fire Department Capt. Stan May.

The woman was alert and talking to first responders as she was taken to the hospital.

May said the woman is in critical condition. He did not release her name.

Hannah said she smelled gas and reported it to her landlord before the explosion. She says the property manager told her they fixed the problem, but she kept smelling it.

"I told the lady, I said, 'I smell gas,'" Hannah said. "She said,'well no, I don't smell gas.' I said, 'no, ma'am. I smell gas and it's giving me a headache and making my eyes tear up... I smell gas.'"

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.