Electrical Problem Sparks Fire At South Tulsa Apartment Complex

Wednesday, January 23rd 2013, 7:53 am
By: Emory Bryan

A massive fire burned out an apartment building Wednesday morning, but no one was hurt.

It happened at the Eagle Point Apartments near East 71st Street and Sheridan.

The people who lived in the apartments were salvaging their belongings Wednesday afternoon and, for many of them, it wasn't much.

The fire was in the walls, so most heard screaming before their smoke alarms went off.

The flames were tremendous over an apartment building with 16 units.

The fire at the Eagle Point Apartments was reported at 1:30 Wednesday morning, and by early afternoon fire investigators say they found the cause.

"Investigators figured out it was an electrical problem in between the first and second floor, in the void and that allowed fire to travel through the wall to the attic. And that's why the roof was almost completely involved before anyone knew what was going on, and by the time we got there, it was a pretty large fire," said Captain Stan May.

Leo Duarte's parents and sister lived in a bottom floor apartment. The fire didn't reach them, but the smoke and water did.

"The good thing is that everybody is okay - nobody gets hurt, that is a good thing - but as you can see everything is damaged, everything is destroyed," Duarte said.

The residents who had anything to save spent the day pulling out their belongings to move.

The state insurance commissioner visited the scene to illustrate how few renters have fire insurance.

He said only one family from this fire was insured.

"It's a financial risk that people take, but I also want them to know we have a vibrant insurance market in Oklahoma and $5 to $20 a month could really help you," Doak said.

Despite the size of the fire, which took 60 firefighters to extinguish, no one was hurt.

Most of them may have lost everything, but they got out with their lives from a middle-of-the-night fire.