Elderly Woman Dies In Bixby House Fire

Sunday, October 20th 2013, 12:24 pm
By: News On 6

A Green County neighborhood is still coming to grips with the loss of a mother, grandmother and friend.

Wanda Anderson was killed in a house fire Sunday morning in Bixby.

Family members tell us Anderson had just celebrated her 79th birthday in September. They say, although she was in poor health, her death still comes as a brutal shock.

The oldest home in the neighborhood, one that's sat on the corner of 171st and Memorial for more than 50 years, is now a charred shell. When firefighters arrived the around 10 a.m., the home was already fully engulfed

"I knew it was her house when I saw the smoke," said neighbor Betty Summers.

Betty and Harold Summers walked down the road to see what was going on. They spoke with Wanda Anderson's daughter while the home was still burning.

"She said, 'I can't find my momma, she's in the house and I can't get to her,'" Harold said.

After crews got the fire under control, they found Anderson.

Teresa Holmes had spoken with her only a few days earlier.

"Your heart goes out to a family that loses a loved one like that," Holmes said.

Neighbors and family members say Anderson was a kind, loving person, who enjoyed putting up holiday decorations and always had time to talk.

"She couldn't hardly get around, but you'd always see her out in the yard," Harold said.

"She was a wonderful person. She would do anything for anybody that needed help. It's just sad," Betty said.

Sgt. Eric Kitch, with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, said, "This is not the call you want to make to somebody's family."

Kitch said that the home went up in flames quickly.

It looks like there are quite a few personal possessions in there, and it looks like it would have gone up quick," he said.

A family member told us Anderson was found next to the stove, and they believe she may have been trying to ignite the pilot light.

"She was a great woman, really great, wonderful woman," Harold said.

Although family members think the stove may have played a role in the fire, the cause and where it started is still under investigation.