Rescuers Save Woman From Balcony In South Tulsa House Fire
TULSA, Oklahoma - A massive fire spread through a south Tulsa home, trapping a woman on her balcony; but she's safe thanks to people who rushed in to help.
Real estate sources list the home as 3,000 square feet and valued at almost $300,000. It appears to be a total loss, but the woman inside made it out thanks to rescuers who said they made it just in time.
The fire consumed a 3,200 square foot, three-story split level home that backed up to Mill Creek.
Even though fire poured out through the back, it started somewhere in the front. A loud explosion got the attention of the neighbors who called for help.
The fire department brought their biggest trucks to the narrow, hilly street.
"It is a huge fire, with the terrain and the wind, it had a big head start on us,” said Captain Joe Ariza with the Tulsa Fire Department.
The woman who lived in the house was rescued before firefighters arrived.
The first people on the scene found the front of the house was covered with fire but they wanted to make sure no one was inside. They went around back and there was a woman on the second floor balcony. They had to stop her from jumping so they could get a ladder.
Allen Martin was driving down Sheridan and saw the smoke. He ended up borrowing a ladder and rescuing the homeowner.
"I thought we had more time, because the front of the house was pretty bad but the back of the house, there wasn't any smoke or anything when I got back there, but by the time we were getting her on the ladder, the windows were blowing out like in the movies,” he said.
Deena Alawneh heard the first explosion and ran to help.
"We went around the back and she was about to throw herself down, she was so scared,” she said. "As we're getting her down, the windows are exploding, the glass is coming out and every time she would get really scared and want to get out of there, but the guys went up there, put her down the ladder and came down right after her."
There wasn't a spot in the house that wasn't touched by the fire, but the surrounding houses were spared.
The Tulsa Fire Department said investigators were at the scene but have not given an official cause of the fire.