Firefighters, Neighbors Help Save Family's Home Near Mannford

Wednesday, April 6th 2011, 7:53 am
By: News On 6

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

MANNFORD, Oklahoma -- Wildfires scorched parts of Oklahoma Wednesday, destroying homes. The intense flames are fueled by dry grass and high winds and low humilities, pushing firefighters to their limits.

Dozens of Oklahoma counties remain under a burn ban.

[See a map of counties under a burn ban to the right]

Fires burned across the state Wednesday, including just west of Tulsa, south of Keystone Lake between Sand Springs and Mannford.

4/6/2011 Related Story: Keystone Fire Chief Surveys Wildfires From SkyNews6

Smoldering ashes are all that's left of a trailer home and barn in a rural part of Sand Springs. The rubble in the wake of a wildfire.

No one lived in the trailer anymore. Neighbors say the owner lives out of state. But just over the hill, the flames raged towards the Aikins home.

"My neighbor called my other neighbor Virgil said hey it's right here on Aikins. My daughter ran out here and we went out there," Kenny Aikins said.

Kenny Aikins and his wife Marsha say the wildfires happen every spring. But they've never come this close.

"The fire's ten foot high and that high wind, there's just no way of stopping it," he said. "You can't knock it down."

The hot flames licked close to the Aikins garage, charring the metal. And inside the garage sit show cars.

"That's my retirement out there," Aikins said. "I've got a lot of show cars and this is the scariest it's ever been. It was right up to the metal. It just don't get any closer than that. Just, thank God."

The Keystone fire department and neighbors worked together to save the Aikins' property. Virgil Cocanougher even brought his homemade firetruck.

"I had it hooked up ready to go," Cocanougher said.

"I mean I just can't thank the neighbors enough," Aikins said.

Aikins' wife stayed behind to watch the property in case the flames reignite. But the others followed the flames. They'll help where they can since it doesn't look like the wildfires will be out anytime soon.

"Pray for rain. Pray for rain," Aikins said.