Tulsa Police Officers Save Apartment Residents From Fire


Monday, January 6th 2014, 8:04 am
By: Dave Davis


The Tulsa Fire Department responded to a fire at an apartment complex in the 1100 block of South 101st East Avenue early Monday. 

Firefighters got the call from the Tulsa Police Department to the Whispering Oaks apartments at about 6:30 a.m.

Police said officers leaving the Min go Valley station across the street spotted flames coming from a building in the complex and immediately ran over and began knocking on doors to get people out of their apartments.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control in less than 30 minutes, even though the fire actually jumped one of the firewalls.

Now, as so many people here are starting to put the pieces back together, they're thankful that not only firefighters, but police officers, were here to help.

"When they were coming out, some people didn't have clothes, shoes," said Tulsa Police Corporal Brian Collum. "It was, like I said, we had two or three newborns, they weren't properly clothed as well."

Not only did they help evacuate, but Tulsa police also called the Red Cross, and offered up their conference room as a temporary shelter.

Terry Smith was one of those people who were displaced.

"I heard commotion outside, and I didn't know what was going on," said Whispering Oaks resident Terry Smith.

"I knew school had been canceled, and I knew kids wouldn't be out getting around for school. I looked outside and seen flames, woke my wife up and said 'Gotta go, Fire!'"

Police knocking on her door woke Kimberly Patterson up, and she got out with only the clothes on her back.

"Thank you, thank you," she said. "They were really quick about coming and helping us so, I really appreciate it."

But the fire made her think about so much more that what she left behind.

If my son is watching, I just want to tell him I love you. That was my biggest concern was thinking about him."

EMSA took a man to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. At last word, he was listed in fair condition. They say they checked out five other residents for smoke inhalation but didn't transport them.  

Other residents were taken across the street to a temporary shelter at the police station.

Tulsa Fire Captain Stan May says the fire affected to 10 to 12 apartments in the complex, displacing 40 to 50 residents.  

Cause of the fire remains under investigation.