SULPHUR, Okla. (KFOR) – A woman and a man died in a house fire in Sulphur on Thursday morning.
Assistant Fire Chief Tracey Laxton of the Sulphur Fire Department confirmed to KFOR that the man and woman died in the fire.
Firefighters were called at 7:37 a.m. to the 1100 block of 9th Street.
The man and woman, who were described as a couple, were trapped in their bedroom as the fire raged. A third resident escaped to get help.
“It was about 7:30 [a.m.] exactly when I call the fire department. A gentleman had been living with them for about a month, and he came banging on my door real loudly and rapidly this morning and I was in the far room,” said James Mathis, a neighbor. “I ran to the door and he said, ‘Call the fire department. Calvin’s house is on fire.’ And I had pants or pajamas with pockets there and I had my cell phone in my pocket, and just dialed 911 immediately.”
The effects of the fire were visible on the third resident, Mathis said.
“All he had on was his underwear and he just ran. His hair was scorched really quite a bit and he was coughing. By the time I got to the edge of the carport there, those flames were up in that tree there and it was totally engulfed. The front of the house was just totally engulfed,” he said.
The third resident tried to get back inside the burning home to help the couple, but could not because the door was too hot.
The couple died in their bedroom. The third resident was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
The fire destroyed the home.
“It’s a tragedy. I feel bad for their families, and I really do, especially with it two days to Christmas,” Jeremy Davidson, a neighbor, said.
The state fire marshal said the preliminary investigation shows the fire may have been caused by an electrical overload in the living room.
He said the three residents were “piggybacking” electrical outlets off each other, and that around 10 electrical outlets were plugged into one another
“If you need more outlets, hire a licensed electrician in the state of Oklahoma to install more ways in which they are installed safely, so plug stuff directly into the outlets themselves. Try not to use extension, of course, except for temporary usages,” said Judah Sheppard, Agent Supervisor for the Southern District for the Office of the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal.
The residents removed a smoke detector given to them by the Fire Department because they were annoyed by its beeping, according to Sheppard.
“They took it down because they heard it beeping, which is an indication that we just need to get the battery changed,” he said.
Mathis reflected on his late neighbors’ decency.
“They were they were caring and good people…[I] surely am just shocked,” he said.