Tulsa Apartment Complex Burns Twice In Four Days

Saturday, August 31st 2013, 9:56 am
By: Dee Duren

A Tulsa woman was grateful her son fell asleep on the living room sofa and alerted her to the second fire this week at the Balboa Park Apartment complex, 4700 South Fulton Avenue.

Lachina Oliver said her son played in the All-City football game Friday night and woke to the smell of smoke coming through the vents into their apartment.

"If he wouldn't have, who knows?" she said. Oliver and her son, Travior Walker, started "hitting the doors" and waking their neighbors.

It was a favor she returned - a neighbor woke her up when she'd fallen asleep studying Tuesday afternoon during the fire on August 27.

8/27/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Firefighters Save Pets From Fire At Balboa Park Apartments

That day, eight units on the east end of the complex building were destroyed.

Tulsa Fire Department District Chief Roger Williams said when crews arrived at about 3:45 a.m. Saturday, they found flames shooting through the roof.

"It's hard to tell where the fire started," Williams said. "It was so involved it took us a while to knock it down."

Williams said hard-working firefighters kept the fire contained as there is no firewall in the complex building.

"We kept it from racing the length of the building," he said.

At least four adults and seven minors were displaced and are being helped by the Tulsa Area Red Cross.

"They always take care of the displaced occupants and they take care of us firefighters also," Williams said.

Williams said they were still determining how many units would have to be vacated this time, but at least four. 

No residents were injured, but a firefighter was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

One firefighter was hit in the back of the head when something fell, the district chief said. The man was feeling woozy, though Williams wasn't sure if it was from the injury or the heat.

The same crew was out on the cell tower rescue late Friday afternoon in the 100 degree heat, "so you can imagine they're pretty spent," he said.

8/30/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Fire Department Rescues Worker From Top Of Cell Phone Tower

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. Residents are without power on Saturday with temperatures expected to climb in triple digits.