Remembering Oklahoma's first wildfire fatality

Thursday, January 26th 2006, 11:09 am
By: News On 6

Kelly Tiger was fighting the flames on his ranch near Holdenville last month, when the fire overtook him and his house. His loved ones are in Tulsa while friends rebuild the family farm.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood explains how the family is doing, one month after the tragedy.

Kelly Tiger spent years in Tulsa. His children graduated from Booker -T- Washington High School. Tiger was a minister, and was loved by everyone who met him. He and his wife Norean moved onto his family's land near Holdenville, and were just two years away from celebrating their 50th anniversary. The fire destroyed their house, wedding photos, and Kelly's Bibles and hymn books.

Kelly told Norean he could never bear outliving his wife. Now his widow gathers strength from his faith. "I said, well Kelly Tiger, how do you think I'm going to get by, and he said, you will. You will. You were always the stronger person. And I can hear him saying that. He had that faith in me to be strong, and I'm trying to be.”

His family says, when Kelly Tiger saw the smoke coming for their house, he ran to check it out and make sure his family was safe. Now friends are running to help his family. The Muscogee Creek Nation is building them a brand new house in Holdenville.

Kelly is buried in Holdenville. His family says they can't wait to move in, so they'll be together again.