House fire claims life of Shawnee man

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SHAWNEE, Okla. - A Shawnee man is dead following a morning house fire. Firefighters tried to save the victim, but say he was trapped and unconscious on the second story.

Fire crews say the call came in with word a person was trapped inside. Within just three minutes crews were there trying to save the 27-year-old man's life.

“Very intense, the intensity level obviously goes up when we hear someone is trapped,” Shawnee’s Interim Fire Chief Drew Tischer said.

Three family members were outside when firefighters arrived, telling them a loved one was trapped on the second floor. Police have now confirmed that victim was 27-year-old Jason Heffley.

As the flames spread, fire crews split, some battling the fire while others attempted to rescue Heffley.

“They laddered the building our crews did and did a primary search and found the individual and found him unconscious,” Tischer said.

Firefighters had a difficult time reaching him.

The interim chief says the challenge was that there was no good way to get to the second floor.

Firefighters say there were oxygen tanks in the home which exploded, causing the fire to spread faster.

Crews say the cold weather made the job challenging, but never took their focus off of rescuing the man who was trapped.

Unfortunately, Mr. Heffley did not survive.

“It's very difficult. Our heart goes out to the family. Our job is to do everything we can to protect lives and property and we did everything we could. Unfortunately, this individual couldn't make it,” Tischer said.

Fire officials say they believe the fire was started by a space heater. They say a dog also died in the fire.

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