NORMAN, Okla. – One person has been injured after using a rope to escape their third floor apartment as the building burned to the ground. It happened around 3:30 a.m. Friday at the Commons apartments near Highway 9 and Highway 77.
"That's one of my biggest nightmares I've had all my life is not being able to get people out of a fire that I care about,” Dean Ramsey told News 4.
When Ramsey’s neighbor banged on his door early Friday morning to let him know their apartment building was on fire, Ramsey made sure the reoccurring nightmare didn’t become a reality.
"I got up, threw my shirt on, grabbed my fiancé and we grabbed our phones and keys and wallets and got the hell out,” Ramsey said. “I was terrified.”
Several residents captured the massive flames on their cellphones.
Josh Reeves lives in a building nearby. He said he woke up to what sounded like an explosion, saw the blaze that was quickly spreading and called 911.
"I feel like somebody did something that caused it. It was not just like a regular thing, and a bunch of people's homes just got destroyed, like a bunch of people and it could have been our building right here,” Reeves said.
Using a makeshift rope, one resident climbed all the way down from the third floor. Officials on scene think he maybe fell halfway down.
"I saw something fall, and I thought it was part of the building. Then, I saw paramedics and fire department people run over. I'm like they wouldn't be running to things falling off the building,” Ramsey said.
"Very quick thinking, but he was transported to the hospital. I think he had some minor injuries. But, other than that, there was no injuries,” said Deputy Chief Mike Wilson with the Norman Fire Department.
It isn’t a first for the complex. Air Comfort Solutions Chopper 4 was over another large fire back in 2011 that charred 16 units.
That building was also destroyed. No serious injuries were reported in that fire either.
"Very lucky. Like I am so thankful that she got out, that I got out, that we're safe. We may have lost everything, but we got out and that's not something everyone can say sometimes,” Ramsey said.
The fire affected all three stories of the building. The building has 24 units.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.