Mayes County residents return to homes destroyed by fire

Monday, November 28th 2005, 10:13 am
By: News On 6

Wildfires have scorched hundreds of acres in Mayes County. Hot spots were keeping fire crews busy Monday afternoon. The damage is done and now families are left to pick up the pieces.

News on 6 reporter Omar Villafranca says flames lit up the morning sky in Mayes County early Monday.

The fires scorched trees, grass and even homes. Heather LeFan: “I've lived here all my life.” Ruth LeFan: “yeah, she was born here; she graduated from high school here, all her high school and family pictures, everything's gone." The LeFan family lost everything. Their home burnt down to the frame. Three cars and two new tractors, all destroyed. 35 years of memories, turned to ashes in 15 minutes.

The wind spread the fire so quickly; the LeFan's barely had time to escape. Heather LeFan: “I had made a big scrapbook cover with a bunch of family pictures, and I grabbed it.” Ruth LeFan: "my husband grabbed his blood pressure medicine and I grabbed some of my medicine and off we went."

While running from the flames, the family managed to unhook Koda, the family dog. Scared, he ran off and hid under the burning house. Heather found him in the morning with singed hair and minor burns, but like everyone in the family, they're still grateful. Ruth LeFan: "But we did get out alive.” Heather LeFan: “that's the most important thing."

Firefighters in Mayes County estimate a 20 square mile area was burned. Pryor Fire Chief Tim Thompson told the News on 6, he thinks high winds caused two power lines to touch sending sparks to the dry ground below.

Several other questionable fires are under investigation.