Neighbor Awakened By Man's Screams For Help During Overnight Tulsa Fire

Sunday, December 8th 2013, 11:19 pm
By: News On 6

Yomira Elizondo woke up early Sunday to a man knocking on her window and screaming that his house was on fire.

Elizondo said the man was one of three people inside the home when the fire started, but only two were able to get out.

If not for the yellow tape, you might miss the damage to the home on East Fourth Street.

But a look in the window tells a different story.

"I was asleep, and I just heard someone scream, ‘help, help us, fire!'" Elizondo said.

Elizondo said the fear of a stranger knocking on her bedroom window quickly went away when she realized what was happening.

"So my dad got up, and he looked through the window, and he saw someone in our backyard, rolling in the snow," Elizondo said.

Elizondo said the man had severe burns on his arm.

She called 911, and says when firefighters arrived, smoke and flames were still pouring from the north end.

"We kinda heard the guy that was still in our backyard say, ‘there's still one inside,'" she said.

Firefighters say they found the third victim in a closet next to the front door. They're not sure, but they think he may have mistaken the closet door for the front door and was overcome by smoke

The two other men made it out, but in the commotion, two firefighters were injured when they slipped on the ice.

"Sometimes the adrenaline kicks in, and yes, people do move a little faster than they should," TFD's Bob Stern said.

Stern says one firefighter fractured an ankle and the other has bruised ribs.

"Once it gets below freezing we get into a lot more problems," he said.

Stern says ladders stick, water freezes on the trucks and tools stick to gloves. His crews use ice cleats to help with footing and they are trained to calculate every move.

"[They] may be focused on the structure or the patient and not where they're stepping, and that's all it takes," Stern said.

Neighbors said the man who died was in his 60s and was the brother of the homeowner.

At this point his name isn't being released.

"I'm in shock," Yomira said. "I just moved here six months ago from Florida, and I'm like, this is crazy."