Officials investigate what started deadly apartment fire

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OKLAHOMA CITY - One person is dead after an early morning apartment fire Wednesday.

It happened at the Citadel Suites near N.W. 50th and May Ave.

"A smoke detector in the home but it was disabled and was not working," Deputy Chief Marc Woodard said.

A small safety oversight that will forever change one family.

The fire broke out in the front room of their first-floor apartment.

The husband was able to escape; his wife could not.

Firefighters found the woman on the floor.

"We'll try to put things together and put the pieces of the puzzle together," Woodard said.

Not only did this tragedy tear apart one family, it's also hitting close to home for a woman who lives across the street and watched the whole thing unfold.

"I lost my dad in a house fire," Jackie Esparza said.

She rushed home after hearing reports of an apartment fire.

Her son had come over to visit before she left for an early morning doctor's appointment and she feared the worse.

"I mean it`s scary," Esparza said. "To know that it`s right there, you can open up your door and look out and see all the police cars and the fire trucks."

Esparza watched the scene unfold all morning, wondering "what if?"

"I`m glad that me and my family are OK," she said.

Esparza knows the grieving family has a long road ahead of them; a road she's already traveled.

"God be with the lady that`s gone on and whoever else was with her, you know," she said. "Very sad."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

No word yet on the dollar amount of damage to the apartment.

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