Smoke Detectors, 'Plan B,' Help Save Tulsa Woman In House Fire

Thursday, November 18th 2010, 7:57 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Firefighters call it a textbook escape. A Tulsa woman's house went up in flames Thursday morning and two major factors helped her get out safely with only minor injuries.

The fire broke out around 5 a.m. at Glenda Brown's home near 51st and Mingo. While the house is a total loss, a working smoke alarm and quick thinking saved the 58-year-old's life.

"I heard all these sirens and I'm thinking, man, does that sound close," said Dana Kuska, a neighbor.

Dana Kuska is staying across the street from Brown in the 5000 block of South 94th East Avenue.

"The scary part I guess is there were flames shooting out of the back of the house," Kuska said. "And then there was just huge smoke tumbling out."

Glenda Brown had heard her smoke alarm and tried to get out of her house. She headed for the front door, but the smoke was too thick. So she went back to her bedroom and climbed out the window to safety.

"She had a working smoke detector and without that, we would have had a lot different outcome," said Tulsa Fire Department Captain Jim Moseby.

Brown also had a second escape route planned, which proved to be life-saving.

"You know like on the airplanes they say, 'make sure you know where the exits are and how far you are' so if you have to crawl out, you can count the number of seats away from the exit, so have in mind an escape route," Kuska said.

Fire investigators suspect an electrical problem caused the fire. Brown has lived in the house for nearly 40 years. The loss is devastating, but she walked away with her life.

"Smart lady to have that plan in her mind and be able to execute in the emergency" Kuska said. "My saying in life is you always have to operate on plan B."

Brown suffered smoke inhalation and some cuts from climbing out the window.

She was still in the hospital Thursday in good condition. The Red Cross says they will help Brown with shelter, food and clothing once she's released.