Tulsa Man Trapped In Building Fire For Two Hours Survives
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa firefighters stated it’s “unbelievable” that a man trapped inside a burning building for hours walked out unharmed.
"The fire spread quickly, and it was hard to control,” said District 1 Fire Captain Alec Ridener.
Firefighters described the vacant building, once a furniture store, as “dilapidated.”
"It's got holes in the floors and the roof, so it makes it a hazard for our guys as well,” explained District 1 Fire Chief Chuck French. “So, that's something we gotta consider before we commit our crews inside."
Fireman and women fought for two hours as the fire raged on, stating, “It’s still too dangerous to go inside and look for possible victims.”
Once the fire was contained, firefighters continued to spray the building with water to make sure it was safe before entering.
Water rushed out as firefighters went in and found someone.
"We saw a blanket with some feet sticking out from it,” Ridener recalled. “At that time, I'm thinking 'Oh, we might have a victim here.'"
Ridener says what happened next is a "first" for his 17-year career.
"He looks up at us and he was awake,” said Ridener. “I said, 'What are you doing?’ and he said 'I'm sleeping!'”
The man who slept through all the heat and noise didn't want to talk on camera.
"I didn't do nothing up in there but sleep," said the survivor.
And he got away without a scratch.
Firefighters say the man must have been in just the right spot, avoiding breathing in any heavy smoke and a collapsed roof.
The story of survival gave Ridener, someone who deals with death and destruction on a regular basis, a reason to smile.
"I’m just shaking my head that this guy was lucky this time,” said Ridener. “And I don't even know if he knows it, but he was very lucky."