Five residents of a Tulsa assisted living center injured in a fire

Monday, January 9th 2006, 8:58 am
By: News On 6

A Monday morning fire leaves several people of an assisted living center apartment complex stranded on the second floor.

The fire broke out shortly after 8 AM Monday at the Pythian Manor at 21st and Sheridan.

News on 6 reporter Omar Villafranca says residents at the Pythian Manor woke up to a fire that threatened to burn a whole wing of their building.

While smoke poured from the rooftop, firefighters battled to keep the flames under control.

Their top priority was saving elderly residents trapped on the second floor. Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles: "evacuation is one of the primary concerns. At this point, we have had to take several victims off of balconies down ladders, and that's very difficult when two firefighters try to take two people down one at a time."

One woman didn't have the strength to make it out on her own. She was just one of several residents at the center; firefighters had to help escape the flames. "Everyone on this floor, just about, needs help getting out, especially when it’s dark, smoky and under these kinds of conditions."

Fire crews had to cut down a fence to fight the fire. Luckily, firefighters had some help from alert neighbors who arrived there before them. "Some of the maintenance personal and civilians in the area did assist us in that process. They did a great job.”

One woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition after she stopped breathing. Two elderly women are in fair condition with smoke inhalation. Two other victims, including an 18-year-old, have burns and are in serious condition. Investigators believe the fire was caused by a candle.