Woman Dies After Tulsa Apartment Fire

Saturday, April 18th 2009, 1:16 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A west Tulsa community is grieving the loss of a good friend.

Maria Waldrup died Friday night in the fire at the West Edison Plaza Apartments, 570 N. 39th West Ave., Waldrup's pastor said.

More than 20 senior citizens were temporarily displaced after the complex caught fire shortly before 11 p.m. The fire began in Waldrup's home, but investigators have not released a cause.

Waldrup's son recently died, but her friends say she was in good spirits. Now her friends are helping plan her funeral.

"Right now there's just a lot of hurting and a lot of confusion," said Don White with Heavenly Highway Ministries.

White ministers to several of the residents in the complex and knew Waldrup for more than 15 years.

"She was just a good Christian woman and had all her faith in the Lord and was looking forward to going home with Jesus," White said. "But I know she wasn't looking to go this way, but I know she's home with Him now."

White says Waldrup was in a good mood when he last saw her during Easter services, despite grieiving the loss of her son.

"She was just so happy and full of the spirit, just really upbeat," he said. "And then for this tragedy to happen so suddenly, it's just a shock to everybody."

As crews work to repair the building, White says he will work to put the pieces of the tragedy together and hope something good can come from it.

"I just tell them we're serving a mighty God, a good God, and a merciful God," White said. "We don't why things have to happen, but we know God's got a plan and it's a lot bigger than ours."

The 21 residents who spent Friday night at a Red Cross shelter have been allowed back in the complex, and management is helping those whose apartments were damaged find a new place to live.