Rural Fires More Of A Challenge


Monday, November 17th 2008, 5:52 pm
By: News On 6


By Chris Wright, The News On 6

CREEK COUNTY -- Fires, like the one Monday morning, always present a challenge for fire departments.  Officials say the fact that the fire happened in a rural area made it even more difficult to fight.  Rural fire departments say they do their best with limited resources, but contend that tragedies are sometimes inevitable.

When firefighters arrived to fight the fire that claimed two lives Monday morning, department members quickly realized that the home's location was going to make things difficult.

"Conditions out here are hampered.  This is an odd area where there are not substantial fire hydrants. The nearest fire hydrant to us was too far away to lay hose to it," said Sand Springs Fire Deputy Chief Tom Jenkins.

With no hydrants available, Keystone Fire Department helped shuttle water to the home.  Firefighters briefly ran out of water, but say the home was already a total loss.  

"The fire was not difficult to bring under control, approximately 15 minutes.  We did run out of water at one time in this location.  So, that kind of put a hiccup in the plan," said Sand Springs Fire Deputy Chief Tom Jenkins.

Charlie Pearson began fighting fires in rural Tulsa County more than three decades ago, and says he quickly learned that it's never easy.           

"Whether you're in town or you're in the country, water is a challenge.  If you don't have a water supply, you've got problems," said Charlie Pearson with Rock Fire Department.

Pearson says the department is often forced to draft water from pools or other sources.  He says the risk of fire comes with living in the country, but he and other rural departments know what they're doing.

"We know we're probably going to have a lot of fires this year.  But, we're equipped and we're ready for the, If something happens, we're ready here to take care of the problem," said Charlie Pearson with Rock Fire Department.

Chief Pearson says that before winter arrives, rural residents should make sure their grass is cut and their firewood is being stored away from their home.