Tulsa Firefighters say one person is dead after a house fire near Admiral and Harvard Monday night. The same house caught fire twice in a period of eight hours in what TFD says is two unrelated incidents.
TFD Spokesperson Andy Little says the fire began around 7:30 p.m. Monday night after a man was smoking on his front porch. Little says the man may have fallen asleep and dropped his cigarette, causing his own clothes and his home to catch on fire. One of the neighbors, Annette McMahon says she and other neighbors saw the flames and tried to drag him away from the porch, but multiple areas of his body were on fire and the flames were too hot for them to get him to safety. Little says that man died from his injuries.
“My neighbor ran across the street and tried to grab his arms and his legs but his arms and shoulder were on fire while he was still alive and moving it got so hot the heat overtook him and couldn’t rescue him,” McMahon says.
Little says Tulsa firefighters left the scene a few hours later after he says they were sure the fire was out. They continued to check the home out through the night to make sure no spots were igniting.
“They came by multiple times with thermal imaging cameras to make sure there weren’t any hot spots,” Little says.
Little says around 3 a.m. TFD got a call that this same house was on fire again. McMahon says she woke up and saw flames towering over the home and embers flying onto her own home as well.
“Thad everything put out and then I heard noises, McMahon said. “I thought something was hitting my house, it was hot embers landing on my roof, my neighbors came by with a hose and sprayed my house, they saved my house.”
Little says the second fire is being investigated as arson although they don’t currently have any leads or a motive for who would want the house to burn for the second time in one night.
McMahon says as the sun came up and she could see just how much was lost, she is heartbroken.
“I don’t know, I’ve never seen anything like that, I felt helpless, I couldn’t do it myself, I couldn’t drag him off that porch and save his life,” McMahon says.
Another man that lived in the home says most of the people who lived here weren’t home at the time but they weren’t able to get their pet birds and one dog out in time.