OKLAHOMA CITY – Three children and a woman are dead following an overnight apartment fire in northwest Oklahoma City.
Firefighters responded to the scene shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday at the Quail Ridge Apartments near May and Memorial after receiving nearly a dozen 911 calls about the fire.
Crews first on scene reported heavy fire conditions, and nearly 50 firefighters responded to the three-alarm fire.
According to the Oklahoma City Fire Department, a man who lives on the second floor told firefighters he escaped his apartment by jumping off the balcony. He sustained second-degree burns.
He told firefighters three children, two boys and a girl, and his girlfriend were still inside the apartment and were unable to escape.
Officials told News 4 he was going to catch the other victims but the fire just got too big.
“This individual, he said that he initially tried to go out the apartment door but there was just too much fire on the breezeway,” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson with OKCFD. “It forced him back into his apartment and that’s why he then had to go jump out of the balcony and the plan was for the others to follow him and that he would catch, was my understanding.”
Fire officials say the woman and two of the children were found dead following a search, however a third child was still missing.
Around 8 a.m., the third child was found dead, officials said.
Eight units sustained fire damage and an additional 10 to 12 units had smoke or water damage.
The structure sustained nearly $344,000 worth of damage and approximately $150,000 in content loss.
The man told fire investigators he believes a smoke alarm woke his girlfriend up, but it is unclear if the smoke alarm was present or working, the fire department says.
Officials say these are the first fire fatalities in Oklahoma City this year. Last year, there were 22 fire fatalities.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.