OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A 22-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly admitting to lighting his ex-girlfriend’s Oklahoma City apartment on fire with a blow torch, leaving several people trapped inside the burning building.

Paris Ferino tells KFOR she and five of her friends were trapped in her upstairs apartment on the 11400 block of May Ave. while the flames raged outside her apartment door. They called 911 desperate to be rescued.

Her ex-boyfriend, Jose Ramirez, allegedly admitted to authorities on January 19, 2022 that he had started the fire.

Ferino said the couple had broken up December 2020 because Ramirez killed her cat. He was convicted on a charge of cruelty to animals.

Photo goes with story
Jose Anthony Ramirez

Fast forward to December 14, 2021, Ferino said she allowed Ramirez to come and collect some of his belonging from her place. He ended up leaving in silent anger that night after they got in a fight.

Several hours later around 3:15 a.m., the fire began raging outside of the apartment door, the flames going from the top of the staircase to the bottom.

Photo goes with story
The fire in the stairs.

“It was terrifying,” Ferino said. “It looks like you’re looking down into metaphorical hell because it’s just glowing red and black smoke everywhere, like you could not see anything.”

The group was trapped in the apartment. Ferino said she suspected it was Ramirez who started the fire.

“He’s a really just angry, violent person,” she said. “He always has been. Revenge is his huge thing.”

Court documents reveal that Ramirez admitted to pouring gas on the entire staircase that led to Ferino’s apartment and lighting it with a blow torch. He told authorities he was angry.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department rescued the group from the apartment’s balcony with a ladder.

No one was hurt that night.

“It’s just really surreal because my whole life is in this one building, like this one little unit we’re in,” Ferino said. “It doesn’t go anywhere else. So, if I lost everything here, like there wouldn’t be anything to turn around and go back to.”

OKC Fire spokesman Benny Fulkerson said the damage was about $3,000. He, too, is relieved no one was hurt.

“Any time that you have people trapped in a building when there’s fire involved, it’s a very dangerous situation and that’s that’s the situation we don’t want to find ourselves in,” he said.

Ramirez was arrested and charged with first degree arson.