Residents Safe After Jumping Out Windows To Escape McAlester Fire

Friday, February 21st 2020, 1:57 pm
By: Chinh Doan

All tenants are safe after jumping out of a two-story building when a fire broke out Thursday evening.

The fire destroyed the 100-year-old building near Main Street and Wyandotte Avenue, leaving a lot of unknowns for those who lived and worked there.

Christine Parish’s family has owned the building for 60 years. 

Parish told News On 6 she is one of seven people who lived in the apartments on the second level and that the fire sounded like firecrackers.

“When I opened my door, the back draft threw me all the way across my kitchen to hit the table that my microwave was on,” said Parish “My phone flew out of my hand.”

Related Story - Update: Investigators Work To Find Cause Of McAlester Building Fire 

Parish said she and three others who were home during the fire had no choice but to jump out of windows to escape. 

Paramedics took two people to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Mary Blevins and her son Cody Blevins said they lost a dog, but they’re grateful for first responders and a stranger who was driving by for saving them and their other dog.

“He backed into the apartment to our window, and my son jumped, and I threw my dog out and my phone and he wanted me to jump and I told him I couldn’t,” Mary Blevins explained. “I’m handicapped. I can’t jump, so he come in and got me and dropped me head first, and the policemen caught me in their hands and put me down, and then he got out. It was engulfed in just minutes.”

Friday afternoon, heavy equipment knocked down what’s left of the damaged building to make sure busy Main Street is safe for the public.

Paula Cormier, Parish’s stepmother, said her late parents passed the building down to her. and she ran a kids’ consignment store on the bottom floor.

She told News On 6 neither she nor her tenants had insurance, so she’s not sure what they’ll do next, but she’s grateful everyone is safe. 

“Hug your family everyday,” said Cormier. “Thank God. You never know what can happen that quick.”

Cormier said she is hopeful her warehouse next to the damaged building is salvageable. 

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire. 

Tenants said they believe it started on the second floor. 

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