Tulsa Fire Department: Cause Of Apartment Fire Was Accidental

Wednesday, November 14th 2012, 1:28 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A fire at an apartment complex near downtown left an entire family with injuries, most of them critical, Tuesday night.

Wednesday the fire department said it started in heater in one of the apartments.

There were six people hurt in the fire, all from the same family, including three children, their mother, and their grandparents. The three children and two of the adults went to the hospital with critical injuries.

Workers boarded up the burned out sections of the Bradstone Apartments.

There are 11 units in the two buildings, and while one building has heavy damage, apartments in the other are still inhabitable.

11/13/2012 Related Story: Several Injured In Fire At Midtown Tulsa Apartment Complex

Tuesday night, the fire went quickly up through the building and burned out through the roof. It started in a downstairs apartment, where Delores Taylor lived with her brother.

"The fire went majorly fast and all I could do was beat on doors and tell people to get out," Taylor said.

She said the first sign of a problem was some smoke in her apartment.

"And where my furnace and hot water heater is, there was fire coming out of that closet and all I did was grab some clothes and run to my neighbors and tell them there was a fire and get out," Taylor said.

Her neighbors were the ones injured—a family with three children, all taken to the hospital.

"[They had] a combination of burns, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning," said EMSA Supervisor James Postoak.

The Bradstone Apartments is one of 19 complexes owned by the Mental Health Association of Tulsa.

"They're not under our care at all, they're just residents. We're just the landlord and it's just like any other landlord, except our apartments are owned by a non-profit," said Executive Director Michael Brose.

The fire department said the fire was an accident, directly connected to the heater, but they're not sure whether it malfunctioned or something around it caught fire.

Brose said the unit, the smoke detectors and heater are all kept in good repair.

"I don't know when they were built, but we try to maintain our apartments and equipment as needed," Brose said.

There were smoke detectors going off in the units, but Taylor, the woman in the apartment, said the fire moved very quickly.

The people who lived there have been moved to other apartments and the landlord isn't sure yet whether the building can be salvaged or whether they'll have to tear it down.