2 Killed In Broken Arrow House Fire

Friday, February 27th 2009, 11:19 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- Two people died in a fire that destroyed a Broken Arrow home Friday night, officials say.

The fire, in the 100 block of South Kalanchoe in the Country Aire subdivision, was reported by a neighbor shortly before 9:00 p.m.

Fire officials say the fire was unusually intense and neighbors say they could see flames more than 40 feet in the air.

The first responders could not enter the house because of the heat. And firefighters say there was a delay in getting to the blaze.

"They had seven fire trucks here, one of them with the ladder thing spraying water on the roof. They worked in it for hours," said Kevin Judah, neighbor.

A man and woman died in the fire. The third resident is the father of one of the victims. He was out-of-town when the fire broke out.

Investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen.

When dispatchers received the 911 call, the closest fire trucks were already busy.

"The station that has primary jurisdiction here was already out on another medical call, when the time of the fire came, so a district farther east of here had to be the primary on this one. And they are about three minutes farther out than the primary station," said James Suddath, Deputy Fire Chief.

"Fire trucks, I could hear them in the distance. They were coming, but it didn't take long before it was gone," said Judah.

The flames were so intense, firefighters had to battle it from outside.

"It had a real big head start on us, made it real difficult for us to get entry and get the fire out," said Suddath.

Judah described the fire as a giant fireball. He said the flames were three times as big as the house.

Judah says he has known the homeowner for 15 years.

One of the victims has children of his own. The family is still working on notifying next of kin and the names haven't been released.