Overnight fire damages South Tulsa high-rise

Monday, October 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Fire Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a 2-alarm fire at a local bank early Monday morning. The fire broke out around 2:15 AM at the Kensington Towers.

It houses the Local Oklahoma Bank at about 71st and Lewis. The fire started on the fifth floor of the building - in an area that was not covered by automatic sprinklers. The flames blew out the side and burned several offices.

High-rise fires are unusual in Tulsa - and pose special challenges for the firefighters. They have to pump water up to the fire - and carry all their hoses and equipment up the stairs before they can do anything. Tulsa Fire Department Captain Hubert Rouse: "It takes a lot of firefighters and they are difficult to get to, it took a number of firefighters climbing the stairwells to the fire floor hooking in to a couple of floors below and then advancing the hose to the fire floor to extinguish the fire."

The fire was contained to one floor of the building, though several floors will have some water and smoke damage. The cause is under investigation, and no one was hurt. Firefighters say this could have been much worse had the fire happened during a workday.

Because of the early hour, the building was empty when the fire started.