Three Apartment Fires In Three Days


Saturday, February 10th 2007, 8:57 pm
By: News On 6


Firefighters scramble to a South Tulsa apartment fire that left 27 families homeless. Three apartment complexes have gone up in flames in as many days, leaving 50 families out in the cold. News on 6 reporter Chris Wright reports as one army of first-responders fights the flames, an army of volunteers also swing into action.

Three days, three fires, on Thursday four people were hospitalized and 12 apartments were damaged when a fire broke out at the Somerset East Apartments. The following day, a dropped cigarette left 16 families homeless at the Avondale Apartments. And early Saturday, a fire fueled by wooden shingles quickly engulfed a section of the London Square Apartments. Fortunately, everyone escaped without injury.

"My heart was pounding, I'm just thankful that nobody got hurt, as bad as this fire was, I'm glad that my grandmother and my daughter were safe," said Metria Smith, a relative of a London Square Apartments resident.

Twenty-seven apartments were damaged in Saturday’s fire; five of them were completely destroyed. Apartment fires have affected fifty families, including the victims from Saturday’s fire, in the past three days. American Red Cross-volunteers are providing all 50-fire victims with food and clothing, as well as a place to stay.

In addition to helping those affected by disaster, the Red Cross is also encouraging everyone to get ready for one. On Saturday morning it held a three-hour disaster-preparedness class called “Ready When the Time Comes.”

"Our goal is to make sure we have one person in every household in the Tulsa area prepared to respond to a disaster," said GT Bynum with the American Red Cross

Participants were given an overview of basic CPR, disaster safety and first aid basics. The class was scheduled in response to the recent ice storm, but organizers say fire is the one disaster everyone should be prepared for.

"Disaster could be a tornado, it could be an ice storm like we had, but the most common one we experience are home fires," Bynum said.

The Red Cross recommends you put together a disaster kit to get you through any emergency. At the very least you should have a battery or crank powered radio and flashlight. It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit with prescription medications, along with medical records. The experts say you should also have a three-day supply of water, that's three gallons for each person, and a three to five day supply of nonperishable foods. It’s also suggested you pack a change of clothes along with some sturdy shoes, and blankets or a sleeping bag. In your disaster kit you might also include copies of insurance and other important documents, and an extra set of keys.

The Red Cross holds “Ready When the Time Comes” classes throughout the year. You can get more information from their website, www.tulsaredcross.org, or give them a call, 918-831-1100.