Osage County Mobile Home Fire Kills 2 On Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 28th 2013, 11:56 am
By: News On 6

An early morning fire claimed the lives of an Osage County couple and left their grieving loved ones homeless on Thanksgiving.

A 35-year-old man, Joshua Sykes, and his 32-year-old girlfriend, Barbara Deutcher, were killed when the fire erupted near 36th Street North and 37th West Avenue northwest of Tulsa about 2 a.m. on Thursday.

The survivors - 59-year-old Danny Grossman and 38-year-old Wadina Grossman - were able to escape, but their son and his girlfriend were unable to get out in time.

"I just woke up and the house was on fire, and I got my wife out, but that was all I could save," Danny said.

As soon as he and his wife made it out safely, their attention turned to the two people trapped inside.

"They were both in the bedroom on the east end, and that was the end that went up in flames first," Danny said.

Wadina said she started banging on the outside of the trailer, trying to save her son, Joshua Lynn Sykes, and his girlfriend, Barbara Deutcher.

"I heard Barbara scream, holler 'Get me out of here,' and she just started gasping for air," Wadina said.

Wadina rushed to a neighbor's house and called 911.

The Osage Hills Volunteer Fire Department called in the Tulsa Fire Department for backup, and three TFD pumper trucks were used to rotate water to the crews battling flames.

By the time the fire was out, the home was destroyed, and Sykes and Deutcher had died.

"Joshua Lynn was happy go lucky. There was no drama, there was no conflict," Wadina said.

Sykes leaves behind six children.

"It's going to be difficult, especially on Thanksgiving Day," Danny said.

The Grossmans said this was the second house fire they've been through in two years.

"We have lost everything, we have nothing but the clothes on our backs," Wadina said.

And they had only been living there for three months.

"The main concern is our children," Wadina said.

"Material things are replaceable, my son's not," Danny said.

Investigators say there were no smoke detectors in the home and the cause is still under investigation.

The Grossmans said they think Sykes and Deutcher accidentally kicked a blanket onto a space heater in the middle of the night.

"We're not going nowhere. We're going to stay right here, we're going to rebuild--this is home," Wadina said.

The couple said they're still in shock and leaning on faith to see them through.

"That's the only thing that is holding us together now," Wadina said.

"I could have lost her," Danny added.

The Grossmans are staying with the property manager, just up the road, as they try and pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next. If you would like to donate to help the family, you can call Beverly Brunton at 918-282-7701.