Burning French Fries Blamed For Tulsa Apartment Fire

Sunday, July 22nd 2012, 11:40 am
By: Dee Duren

A stovetop fire caused extensive damage to a Tulsa apartment complex and displaced 12 residents. Firefighters were called to the 10900 block of East 23rd Street at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

"The fire started in a downstairs unit when a man cooking French fries fell asleep," said District Chief Bill French of the Tulsa Fire Department. The fire started on top of the man's stove then extended up the wall into the second floor of the townhouse, he said.

From there, flames spread through the rest of the 10-unit building.

"It took us two hours to get it under control," French said. French said seven Tulsa Fire Department units initially responded, and three more were called in to keep firefighters from succumbing to the heat.

Seven of the units were occupied. Twelve people were displaced.

"We had Red Cross on scene, and the apartment manager was there," said the district chief. "She found places for them to stay."

Damage is estimated at $280,000. French said the building is "close to a total loss because of heat, smoke and water damage."

No occupants or firefighters were injured. One pet, a cat, was rescued from an upstairs apartment.

A second apartment fire took place in the 2500 block of North Marion Avenue. The Tulsa Area Red Cross is helping residents with food, clothing, shoes, infant supplies and a place to stay.