Okmulgee Family Grieves After Deadly House Fire

Tuesday, October 24th 2006, 10:25 am
By: News On 6

A family in Okmulgee is grieving after a 4-year-old girl was killed in a house fire on Monday. And the construction workers who were next door and tried to save her were back on that job Tuesday.

As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, it's a tough place to be and a heavy weight on their hearts. It’s always in the corner of their eyes as they walk around their job site. The burned out house where 4-year-old Gracie was killed.

"That's all I thought about all day yesterday was that little girl. It's a sad deal.” Terry Fowler says they didn't know what to think at first when they heard Camela Tiger's cries for help. And he says when they ran over, smoke was already pouring out the front door. "We got around to the front door and the whole living room was up in flames. Her and her two kids came out, she had two of her babies with her and we asked her if there was still anybody in the house, and she said there's a four-year-old girl in there still."

Fowler says the front door was the only way in and they found the other access points blocked by furniture. "Man I'm telling you, it was like two minutes, and the whole house was in flames. We tried kicking out windows and getting in and there was just no way in there."

Will Francis: "It's crazy. It's kind of like I don't want to believe it. It's just sad." Will Francis has a one-year-old girl himself and he says the feeling was one of helplessness. "I felt so helpless for her mom and for her because there wasn't anything we could do. We just knew she wasn't going to make it through that because it was just hot and so smoky.”

The construction workers were complete strangers to the Tiger family before Monday, but they say they'll be going to Gracie's funeral.

The family also told the News on 6, Gracie's stepfather Darryl, who was in the process of adopting Gracie, is on his way home from Iraq. He's been there serving his 3rd tour of duty in the Army.

If you're interested in helping the Tiger family, you can call the Okmulgee Fire Department at 756-3265.