Fire Destroys East Tulsa Home

Tuesday, October 31st 2006, 5:56 am
By: News On 6

Country living provides peace and quiet. But as one Tulsa County property owner learned Monday night, it can quickly turn ugly and noisy. A massive fire destroyed a house just east of Tulsa.

As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, the water to fight the fire did not come easy.

The scene is anything but peaceful. One of the risks of a country setting, say firefighters, is the difficulty of getting to them. Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles: "The remote access to this area caused us to have to lay three-quarters of a mile of hose to get to this."

The house is just on the other side of the Tulsa-Wagoner County line near 21st Street and 196th East Avenue and is tied into the Tulsa water line for drinking water and such. But the closest fire hydrant was four or five blocks away.

In an area zoned residential, developers are required to have a higher density of fire hydrants, but Tulsa Fire Department Captain Larry Bowles says. "In rural properties, that's not the case."

In a case like this, a lone landowner in an area zoned agricultural must decide whether to pay to run a line close to their house and put in a hydrant. Theoretically, it's possible, but Bowles says he can't recall ever seeing it.

And people in rural areas simply pay higher insurance rates. "Certainly insurance companies recognize that and it's why there are different insurance ratings for different locations and properties, proximity to fire stations, proximity to fire hydrants in the area."

But in this specific fire, it might not have mattered where the water was, because it wasn't noticed and called in to the fire department until flames were already through the roof. "The house was pretty much gone by the time we arrived."