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Senior citizens put out of their homes as authorities investigate suspicious package


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Fire crews responded to what authorities say was something suspicious at the Wyatt F. Jeltz Senior Center, 1225 N. Kate in Oklahoma City.

They were first called out to the center on a fire. Firefighters say a sprinkler system had activated and put out a fire in a kitchen inside the center.

After that they issued the all clear.

After making a routine sweep of the facility, fire crews found what they believe to be something suspicious.

Nearly 250 senior citizens were evacuated from this northeast Oklahoma City apartment complex.

Resident David Beatty says, “The sprinklers came on and everything, wet up the floor. We had to get out of there!”

They were evacuated to the nearby Marie McGuire Plaza next door as authorities assessed the suspicious package. They told residents it could be just a few hours but some were concerned it could take all night.

Tom Krug with Oklahoma City Police says, “If there’s more concern and we have one that’s alive it could be longer.”

Lorraine Taylor-Dean rushed to the scene and waited anxiously outside to hear from their loved one.

“I was panicking. I saw the helicopters flying and I just wanted to get to my mother as soon as possible,” says Taylor-Dean. “She’s cold and she’s not dressed properly so I’m a little concerned. She didn’t have enough time to get anything on.”

A few residents stood in the cold to watch as authorities investigated but other just wanted to hear that “all clear” so that they could go home.

Resident Phillip McCleary says, “I wish they’d hurry up I’m cookin! I got stuff in my oven!”

At about 8 p.m. residents got the all clear and were allowed to make their way back into the Jeltz center.

Authorities determined that the suspicious package was not a threat and the bomb squad disposed of it.