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No one injured in extra-alarm blaze at north side apartment building Thursday

OKLAHOMA CITY – No one was hurt in a three-alarm fire at a far north side apartment building Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 4:00 p.m. in the 12800 block of Stratford Drive at the Village at Stratford Apartments, near Highland Park Drive and North Pennsylvania, according to the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Once on scene, the fire was quickly upgraded to a three-alarm fire to fight the blaze quickly spreading through one of the apartment buildings, aided by the strong winds.

“It’s pretty tough,” said Deputy Chief Tony Davis. “This wind is definitely not helping. Anytime we have wind like this, it definitely helps flame the fire and let it spread a little quick.”

Nearly 60 firefighters and close to two-dozen rigs – including aerial ladder trucks – were needed to knock down the flames that spread along the roof of a 12 unit apartment building, which fire officials said is a total loss.

Firefighters got the blaze under control shortly before 5:30 p.m.

According to the department, 24 people were evacuated, as well as a number of pets. The Red Cross says it is helping five families displaced by the fire.

“Fire department says it’s a total loss, right now. Everything in it is pretty well gone,” said Tyler Caudillo, who lives in the building with his wife, Keeva, and their two dogs.

“We were both at work. Actually a neighbor of mine called me, warned me that the apartment was on fire. So I hauled butt up here to see what was going on.”

“I was really, really worried about the dogs,” said Caudillo, as his wife and two dogs sat warming up in his work truck across the street from the fire. “Everything in there is replaceable and I got the dogs, I got my wife, so we can start over. That’s not a problem.”

The wind and below-freezing temperatures did not help in getting the blaze under control, said officials at the scene, but no one was injured.

An EMBARK bus and Red Cross truck with food and supplies were called in to provide shelter and warmth for firefighters and residents to rest and warm up in the cold temperatures and biting wind.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and there is not yet an estimate on the damage.

“Our investigators re on the scene,” said Davis. “Once we get to a point where we can go inside and start investigating, they’ll do that.”