Tulsa Man Still Smiling After Apartment Fire, Other Recent Challenges


Thursday, September 20th 2018, 6:02 pm
By: Emory Bryan


Investigators are still working to find the cause of a fire that burned through a Tulsa apartment building.

Everyone escaped, but more than a dozen people don’t have a place to live.

9/20/2018 Related Story: Cause Of Tulsa Apartment Complex Fire Still Under Investigation

The Riverchase Apartment complex has the burned building fenced off, but some residents were able to get a few things out Thursday.

Emeka Nnaka lost his apartment in the fire. It’s just the latest setback for him, but he’s still keeping his smile.

Nnaka said he was at work when friends saw the fire and called him.

“By the time they got over there, they FaceTimed me and I could see legitimate flames right over the top of my apartment,” Nnaka said.

The flames were huge, burning through an entire building of 16 apartments.

9/19/2018 Related Story: Fire Tears Through Tulsa Apartment Building, Investigators Searching For Cause

Everyone got out safely, but the fire burned through the attic and the ceiling of the top floor. The apartments on one end have the most fire damage, but they all have smoke and water damage.

Nnaka's apartment, on the bottom near the worst of the fire, has heavy damage.

“My apartment has a lot of water damage, debris damage,” he said.

His friends got the charger for his wheelchair but not much else.

"The hospital bed I use, I use a lift to get out of bed. You know, you go looking for your meds and just the daily things a person with disabilities needs," he said.

Nnaka sees the fire as another challenge, and several have come recently; his main caregiver fell and broke an ankle, and Nnaka wrecked his wheelchair-accessible van.

But through all it, Nnaka's still smiling.

“This is a resilient city, and I am a resilient person, so, you put those two together and I know nothing will hold me down. I know that for sure,” he said.

Nnaka’s friends set up an online fundraiser through Go Fund Me. You can donate to that here.