Catoosa Community Mourns 8-Year-Old Killed In Overnight House Fire
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct ages of the Creel girls: 15 and 8.
A Catoosa house fire claims the life of a 8-year-old girl. Lauren Creel's older sister was able to jump to safety from a second-story window and into the arms a neighbor.
The Catoosa fire chief says a lamp's old electrical cord sparked the fire that killed a little girl.
"There was no air in there; it was all just thick, black smoke, and I could only see her hands sticking out of the smoke," he said. "Somebody needs your help and they're screaming, you're gonna go, it ain't just me."
Boomer said the mother of 8-year-old Lauren Creel and 15-year-old Tori made it out but couldn't get to her daughters. So he tried, but the flames were just too hot.
He said he didn't know if the girls were even awake, so he tried banging on the house with rocks. And then a sign of life: Tori's hands reaching out from her upstairs window.
He says she was scared to jump, but it was her only choice.
"I really couldn't see how she was going to fall out the window," Devine said. "All I could see was her hands. I was just screaming at her, trying to make her just come out.
"'Just jump, I'll catch you; you got to just come out,'" he said.
Tori fell into his arms to safety. By that time, a neighbor brought over a ladder, and Boomer climbed up to try and save Lauren too.
"Once I had my arm in there, it was so hot, I couldn't get through the window," he said. I kept trying to reach in there and see if maybe she was looking for a way out, and I was hoping for anything."
Just hours before the fire, Lauren was on the basketball court. Number 13 - the star of her third-grade team that night.
"Yeah, she's a ham," said Carrie Mosier, a friend of the family. "That's really the only way to describe it. She was always happy, just always full of life."
Carrie Mosier's daughter was Lauren's best friend. This little girl, who was so full of life, is now an example of how short life can be.
Mosier said they will especially miss Lauren's laugh and smile.
The surviving daughter and her mother were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The Catoosa fire chief says the family told him the house had working smoke detectors.