OKLAHOMA CITY – Firefighters rushed to a home at 100 S.W. 40th St. Sunday afternoon.
The fire at the home started in the garage about 30 minutes after the homeowner had returned and parked her car inside.
“There were a lot of combustibles around but we’re looking to see if something may have got up against the catalytic converter on the car and maybe started the fire,” Oklahoma City Battalion Chief Chris Goodwin said.
Betty Copeland, 81, has lived in the house for 40 years.
“My grandson was eating his breakfast and on the divan and he said it sure is looking smoky out in the yard,” Copeland said. “I said, ‘Oh, somebody’s probably barbecuing.’”
Neighbors ran in, letting Copeland and her grandson know it was their house that was on fire.
“He ran to the back to see what was going on,” Elizabeth Sustaita said. “That’s when he figured there was smoke and ran inside their house to tell them to get out and called me and I ran in there because I knew Betty was in there.”
Other neighbors said they hate to see this happen to one of the longest standing residents of the neighborhood.
“She’s generous and she will she will open her door to anybody to help anybody and to see something like this is very tragic because she’s been here a long time,” Patricia Calaway said.
Copeland’s family said they are very thankful no one was injured in the fire but said it will be tough for her to rebuild because she doesn’t have any insurance.
“I mean, it’s hard to see what you worked for all your life go down in flames,” Copeland’s daughter, Cindy Ellis, said.
Fire investigators estimate the fire did $25,000 worth of damage to the home.