House Fire Claims Life Of Wagoner County Man

Friday, April 13th 2018, 3:57 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

A family is grieving the loss of a loved one after a fire in Wagoner County.

Several family members live near the home that caught fire.

They said by the time they woke up and rushed to the house, it was too late to save the man inside.

The fire happened around 12:30 a.m. just outside the town of Okay in the Gibson Station area.

Family member Jerome Brown said the victim's wife was at her overnight job when the house burned. 
"My uncle - by the time he got there, it was too hot to go through the house. So, he couldn't do nothing either but sit there and watch, like the rest of us," said Brown.  
While the victim's name has not been released, Brown said it's his 65-year-old cousin, an Army veteran. 
"He was just a veteran trying to make it just like all the veterans are these days," said Brown.  
Brown said because he lives only about a block away, he saw his cousin pretty often, including the night before.  
"I didn't get to tell him I love you. I normally tell everybody I love you, but I missed this opportunity. It's one thing I won't be able to get back," said Brown.  
Investigators said it could take weeks to figure out what happened. 

Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott said one thing they'll be looking into is how a neighbor described the fire in a 911 call just after midnight. 
"They said it sounded like the house blew up. So, that's something that we're concerned about and obviously, the state fire marshal has been made aware of that and he's concerned about that as well," said Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliot.  
While the family waits for answers, Brown said he'll be turning to his faith. 
"Just gotta pray and pull together. It's gonna be a trying time and it's gonna get worse before it gets any better, but life has to go on," Brown said.  

The medical examiner's office will determine the man's exact cause of death.

The sheriff's office said it does not suspect foul play.