Woman Causes Turley Grass Fire After Burning Trash

Monday, November 18th 2019, 9:49 pm
By: Justin Shrair

Several homes near Turley are still standing, thanks to the quick action of firefighters on Monday.

The fire started when a woman burned trash in her yard, and rapidly spread. That woman said she had no idea it was illegal here in Oklahoma and is warning others to think twice before doing the same thing.

Tena Taylor said she was burning trash in two metal drums Monday afternoon, the same way she's been doing it for months until she turned away to feed her horse and in just seconds her pasture lit up.

"My house was going to burn down. I started panicking just ran in and out couldn't get my head together at first and then I grabbed my shovel and 911 at the same time," said Tena Taylor.

Taylor said she used a shovel to try and put out the flames. Turley Firefighters arrived within a minutes and quickly called Tulsa Firefighters for backup.

"When I got on scene it was actually a very small fire and it wasn't moving very fast. Within 30 seconds the fire had gotten bigger and taken off," said Turley Fire & Rescue Chief David Morgan.

The wind began pushing the fire toward several homes including Taylor's where it came within just inches of her porch. Chief Morgan said while they were able to save the homes, this is a good reminder that it's illegal to burn your trash.

"In the state of Oklahoma you are not allowed to burn trash especially if you have access to a refuse company who comes and picks up your trash," said Chief Morgan.

According to Oklahoma State University, "from 2004 to 2008, three Oklahomans died and 44 were hospitalized due to backyard trash burning". 

"Just think what you are burning in that can would you want your family breathing that," said Chief Morgan.

Taylor said she's done burning trash and said she is thankful for the quick response from both the Turley and Tulsa Fire Department.

"I'm gonna lose our house I'm home alone scared to death, it was the scariest thing I've been through in my life," said Taylor.

Turley Fire said they billed Taylor, she was talked to by the health department and they have also turned the case over to the Department of Environmental Quality.