OKLAHOMA CITY - Fire officials said late Friday the initial investigation into the cause of a blaze that destroyed an apartment building on the city's north side is like an accidental electrical fire that started in the building's attic.
Fire crews were called to the Quail Run Apartments in the 3200 block of W. Memorial at around 2:00 p.m. for a report of smoke. Once on scene, fire fighters called for a full commercial alarm to bring in more help.
"They initially had heavy smoke coming from the attic on the west end of the structure, quickly flames came through the roof and burned itself through, and it's just been a fire fight from that point, literally, to try to catch up to it," said Shift Commander Jim Williams. "As you can see, from the building, it burned most of the roof off."
The three-alarm fire quickly spread east, along the 16-unit building, through the attic. No one was injured, but several people had to evacuate their apartments and left their pets behind. Fire fighters were able to rescue several pets, including cats, from the building.
Katelyn Sturdivant, 26, was at home when she smelled smoke and went outside to see what was going on. The University of Central Oklahoma student said she had to leave her two cats behind. Eventually, fire fighters brought out a soaking wet black and white cat, covered in soot.
"They said she was hard to get, hard to catch," Sturdivant said of the cat, named Lola. "She's probably very unhappy."
Sturdivant said she had been waiting for that moment for "a long time" and said it's a small victory in what was a terrible day.
"I felt terrible, leaving them in there," she said.
Unfortunately, Lola was the lucky one to make it out alive as Sturdivant's other cat, Mia, did not.
Sturdivant said she would be staying with family. An apartment complex manager said the 16 people displaced by the fire were offered to stay in available units in the complex, if not staying elsewhere.