UPDATE: EMSA medic, residents recovering from burns, smoke inhalation in apartment fire
OKLAHOMA CITY – An EMSA medic had to be treated for injuries following a four-alarm apartment fire Thursday morning
Dozens of fire crews were called to the Ambassador House Apartments, near N.W. 46th St. and Penn early Thursday.
Residents had just seconds to react when they saw flames and smoke in the building.
Sarah Cooper said, “They were yelling ‘Fire! Fire! Everybody out.”
Cooper says she, like other residents, jumped into action.
She said, “Grabbed my shoes and ran outside, could see the flames and smoke out here.”
Shortly after her escape, the Ambassador House Apartments were evacuated.
Cooper said, “There were people knocking on doors, trying to help neighbors out. There are some handicapped people so everyone was trying to pull together and get everybody out.”
Firefighters rushed in to try and tackle the flames that, according to officials at the scene, were started by a mattress on fire.
It took nearly 70 firefighters to get the blaze under control.
Two people were burned and an EMSA paramedic suffered smoke inhalation.
One resident coached his neighbors on how to avoid breathing in the heavy smoke.
Zachary Harnden said, “Grab a towel, soak it in water and wrap it around their face to prevent smoke inhalation.”.
The building where the fire occurred has 20 units; 16 of those suffered fire and smoke damage.
Management at the apartment complex said people in eight different units are displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The complex said they will rebuild but the main focus is getting those displaced residents help.