Fires Destroy Dozens Of Homes, Businesses In Oklahoma


Friday, April 10th 2009, 5:52 am
By: News On 6


MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (AP) - Firefighters kept watch through the night over wind-driven wildfires in western and central Oklahoma that left at least 34 people injured and more than 100 homes or other structures damaged or destroyed.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management says 2 of the injuries were serious -- a firefighter was burned in a Lincoln County blaze and a motorist in Stephens County was severely injured after losing control of a vehicle on a smoke-covered road.

The others were considered minor to moderate.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel says about 100 structures have been damaged or destroyed, including the hard-hit communities of Midwest City and Choctaw. Midwest City police chief Brandon Clabes said early Friday that the fire had rekindled in places.

South of Oklahoma City, officials reported 13 homes damaged or destroyed between Lindsay and Dibble and 14 homes and five businesses in Velma destroyed.

In Carter County, assistant emergency management director Chester Agan says flames destroyed six homes in the southern Oklahoma county, as well as a church in Fox.

In north-central Oklahoma, Stillwater Emergency Management Director Kirk Mittlestet says some structures in Payne County had been lost.

Gov. Brad Henry says officials hoped get a better idea of how extensive the destruction is at daybreak.

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