Lightning Strike May Be Cause Of Tulsa Retirement Center Fire

Tuesday, March 8th 2016, 7:43 am
By: News On 6

One person is in a Tulsa hospital after a balcony fire at a retirement village in west Tulsa early Tuesday.  

The Sapulpa Fire Department was called to Inverness Village in the 3800 block of West 71st Street at about 1 a.m. Firefighters evacuated two floors of apartments in the east wing of the complex as a precaution. They were able to contain the fire to the balcony of an upstairs apartment.

The damage was mostly to an exterior wall. 

"There was no extension into the actual apartment," said Sapulpa Battalion Chief D.J. Kizer. Kizer said a fire alarm woke the female resident of the apartment. As she and her husband exited, they pulled the fire alarm.

Mark Gray with the retirement center told News On 6 they think a lightning strike caused the fire. He said three units were affected: one by the fire and two by water damage. 

During the evacuation, firefighters said a resident fell down and was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Another person reported chest pain, but Kizer said the second person wasn't transported.

About 60 people were affected by the building being evacuated. 

They were directed to another building in the facility before returning to their homes. Residents in the three affected units were moved to guest units, Gray said.

Kizer said the staff did an excellent job assisting with the residents and getting them to safety. Sapulpa Police and Creek County ambulance also responded.

Firefighters said they expect to have an official cause of the fire by Wednesday.