Firefighters said a space heater is what caused the fire. Fortunately, everyone made it out alive.
The fire was near 104th and May and started just after midnight.
“On arrival, the first couple of crews that arrived on the scene did hear yelling coming from the house, so they immediately went into rescue mode,” said Batt. Chief David Carter, Oklahoma City Fire Department.
When crews arrived on scene, they said the garage was heavily engulfed in flames… but they were able to knock it down quickly.
The home now has significant damage.
“It’s not a total loss… The garage obviously sustained heavy, heavy damage,” said Carter.
The neighbor who lives next door to the home that caught fire told us the family used the garage space as a bedroom, and that’s where the fire started.
“It appears the garage was being used as a living, as some type of a bedroom,” said Carter.
And as for how the fire was discovered, neighbor Steven Bennett said his brother and sister-in-law who live directly next to the family on the other side were walking over to bring him a cake.
“They were on their way down here to bake a cake… My brother’s wife was bringing a cake down to put in my oven, and they live on the other side, and they’re the ones that saw the smoke coming out of the house,” said Bennett. “The smoke was coming out of the garage. Apparently, they weren’t in there when it caught fire.”
Steve Bennett is now calling his brother a hero.
“They had to wake some of the people up, and the little girl said, ‘What’s going on?’ They told her to get out. The house is on fire. Then about that time, that’s when the smoke detectors started going off and when the house started filling up the smoke,” said Bennett.
At one point, firefighters were looking for two of the five other people who live at the home.
“There was a report we possibly had two more people trapped in the garage… The fourth and fifth person were not at home,” said Carter.
“Everyone was afraid that there were people still in there because there were two people missing, but they had left and went somewhere,” said Bennett.
Fire officials said the total damage is estimated to be around $115,000.
Fire investigators determined the fire was ruled unintentional with a space heater too close to flammable items.
The Oklahoma City Fire Department said they have recently responded to several structure fires that started from space heaters.
Here are a few fire safety tips from the Oklahoma City Fire Department:
- The rule for space heaters is, “Space heaters need space.” In other words, keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
- Choose a heater with automatic shut off features for overheating and tipping.
- Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
- Keep the heater away from areas of foot traffic, and do not block exits with them.
- Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet, never use extension cords.
- Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.