Volunteer Agencies Continue To Help Sapulpa Motel Fire Victims

Monday, January 26th 2015, 1:13 pm
By: News On 6

The investigation continues into a deadly weekend fire at a Sapulpa Motel. One person died in the Saturday fire at the Interstate Inn near Interstate 44 in west Tulsa.

A couple of dozen people also lost a place to stay along with their belongings. Many lost everything they had, and they are now relying on donations to get back on their feet.

On Monday, there are still nine people staying at a Red Cross shelter at Crossroads Church on East Admiral. Cots line the gymnasium of the church along with stacks of clothes and food.

Typically a shelter would only be open up for about two days, but a spokesperson with the Red Cross says it's taking some of the families more time to find a place to stay, so they will keep this shelter open, until everyone has figured out a place to go.

"The shelter will not close until every need is met. That could be a day two days, three days and that is never set in stone because the needs change constantly," said Rick Harvey, Red Cross spokesperson.

1/25/2015 Related Story: Sapulpa Fire Victims Turn To Red Cross For Assistance

Red Cross Officials say 25 people stayed at the shelter on Saturday night. On Sunday it was 19. More than half of those people have found somewhere or someone to stay with, but there are still more than half a dozen who are still figuring out what to do next.

Howard Barnes and Belynda Moore say this is the only place they have to go right now. They hope to be placed in another room at the inn soon.

"We hope to move back there today or tomorrow," Howard said.

Belynda said the shelter has helped with everything - including Howard's high blood pressure medication.

Red Cross volunteers are working with other agencies to help with food, shelter and finding a permanent place to stay.

"You know it's a desperate situation, that's why we're here for help," said fire victim David Sheriff.

This month alone the Tulsa Red Cross Chapter has helped 31 more people than in December, which can put a strain on volunteers. Fortunately 40 Red Cross volunteers from outside the Tulsa area were already in town for a conference.

"Day two of the conference, a disaster did strike and most of us left the meeting to go help those in need from the fire," said Rick Harvey, Tulsa Red Cross.

ATF investigators are still not releasing the name of the person who was killed in the fire, because they are still trying to notify family.

Also, the cause of this fire still hasn't been determined.