Drumright Tri-Plex Explodes; Fire Hospitalizes Two People With Burns

Friday, March 7th 2014, 12:42 pm
By: News On 6

A Drumright couple is in critical condition in a Tulsa hospital after being burned in early morning explosion on Friday. Investigators are now looking into how the fire started inside the apartment's utility closet.

Family members said the couple is being treated, and are only a few rooms away from each other inside the Hospital's Burn Unit. First responders flew them to Hillcrest after their apartment exploded into flames.

Deeanna Rollins and her friends picked up what's left of her fire damaged apartment. When crews arrived around 2:00 Friday morning, the entire triplex where Rollins lives was on fire.

"Flames just spreading through the attic, the neighbors was outside on the sidewalk, burnt the girl, come and knocked on our door. Just flames everywhere," Rollins said.

On the north end of the apartment, family members said Monty Kamil and Sherry Barnes suffered severe burns in the explosion. The Assistant Fire Chief said the explosion came from the closet where the apartment's water heater is located.

"It was a pretty powerful event. You can see heavy, heavy, fire damage. Heavy smoke damage in the other two apartments," Brett Lunsford with the Drumright Fire Department said.

Kamil and Barnes made it out of their burning apartment. Along with the flames, scalding water from the water heater burned one victim's legs.

Kamil's sister, Rosi Hryshchuk, said, "Family, friends, visitors, prayers, everything. That's what we're asking for right now."

Hryshchuk visited the couple in the hospital, she said this isn't the first time her brother has survived a fire. She said they lost a family member in a fire when they were growing up. On Friday, she went through the rubble of this fire.

"The damage is intense, of course we expected that. However, I'm just glad that they got out, everybody got here quickly," Hryshchuk said.

Kamil's family said he will undergo several weeks of surgeries and skin grafts.

"We'll be there every step of the way for both of them," said Hryshchuk.

The Oklahoma State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating to see how the fire came from the closet. Kamil's family is trying to get in touch of Brown's family to let them know she's in the hospital.