ATF Agents Called To Investigate Fatal Fire At Sapulpa Motel

Saturday, January 24th 2015, 9:55 am
By: Dee Duren

Tulsa firefighters and other authorities are investigating a motel fire in Sapulpa. Smoke could be seen billowing from the Interstate Inn behind the Town West Shopping Center, 5554 South 48th West Avenue.

A two-story section of the hotel caught fire around 8 a.m., officials say. 

Fire officials confirm that a body has been found at the hotel. They continued to search through the two-story building late in the day, saying dozens of people come in and out of the motel without checking in.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been called to the scene. People who live at the motel and escaped the fire say there was a strong chemical smell in the air.

Tracee Bates said she was sleeping just doors away from the fire when a neighbor woke her and her husband, telling them to get out.

"Three more minutes, and we would have been dead," she said. "She knocked on our door and basically saved our lives."

Reports are that about 20 units are involved in the fire. Dozens of people have been displaced from the motel near the Turner Turnpike Gate. Tulsa, Sapulpa, and Berryhill assisted in the fire attack.

Ladder trucks put water on the motel fire from above as crews made a ground attack. EMSA transported more than one person for treatment in connection to the fire. 

Kelli Bruer, EMSA spokesperson, said they transported a woman in her 40s to 50s and a man in his mid-50s to local hospitals. Both were in fair condition.

A firefighter was also treated at the scene for some minor injuries as was one other person.

The Red Cross arrived soon after the fire was out to start helping the motel residents, handing out water and hot chocolate. The organization also found them a place to stay.

Red Cross spokesperson Ken Garcia said they had 19 people registered at an overnight shelter Saturday night. The Salvation Army is assisting Red Cross in their relief efforts.