Power Outage May Have Been Factor In Death

Friday, December 14th 2007, 12:11 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa woman is dead and her boyfriend is critically injured after a house fire near 49th and Riverside. The Tulsa Fire Department and Tulsa Police Department are still investigating. The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports, early indications are the fire started accidentally while the couple was trying to stay warm.

Neighbor Ron Weindorf tried to rescue the woman after her step-father flagged him down. But, he was forced back by heavy smoke.

“I couldn't get in. I just couldn't get in. Couldn't breathe. Couldn't see. Heard her moaning first time I tried to get in. But after that, it was nothing,” said neighbor Ron Weindorft.

The victim, 48-year-old Susie Robinson was well-known and well-liked in the neighborhood. A military veteran who was on disability, she spent much of her time helping others said neighbor Michael Lanter, who gave her a ride home from the grocery store just last night.

"She had just gotten done taking a whole bunch of toys to Toys For Tots, and she bought her boyfriend a chainsaw, and he was cutting down limbs for a $20 donation to Angel Tree or something like this. She was actually in good spirits,” said neighbor Michael Lanter.

Police were called in because there was blood on a car in the driveway and some things inside the house seemed odd to investigators. But, at this point, they say it appears Robinson's boyfriend was intoxicated and knocked over a charcoal grill they were using to heat the house.

"There is a charcoal grill inside the location so possibly, that is what started the fire. But that's obviously going to have to come from the fire department,” said Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham.

Neighbors say everyone enjoyed Robinson's yard, which had the biggest array of Christmas lights on the block, but those decorations seem sad to them now. When everything is cleaned up, they say they want to set them back up and light them again.