MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KTUL) — A devastating fire in Muskogee left more than 30 seniors and people with disabilities without a home.
Flames were towering over Fair Haven Apartments. Dozens of people just standing, watching their homes burn.
“While I had the door open, that’s when I heard the fire doors close,” says Richard Friese, a Navy veteran. “And then the fire alarm started and I went straight for the stairs.”
“Most of the time when it goes off, it’s a false alarm,” says Michael Green from his wheelchair. “But thanks to the maintenance man, he knocked on the door and told everybody to get out.”
The residents have needs. Each is either a senior citizen or disabled and many are veterans.
“It just breaks my heart,” says Ray Blanton with The Barracks, a soon-to-open veteran’s living facility. “I can’t believe this. This is the second time this week the fire alarm’s gone off. I guess the other day somebody was smoking and fell asleep. They caught it, but don’t know what happened this time.”
In total, 36 units are now unlivable. That’s 36 people with little to nothing left.
“I don’t have nowhere to go right now,” Green says. “So I don’t know how long it’s going to be off.”
“I was joking with some of the people out here,” Friese says. “I don’t have to worry, my TV is at the pawn shop.”
Two people were sent to the hospital. One had to be rescued.
“We did get Red Cross, they showed up,” says Assistant Fire Chief Gordon Lee. “They’re helping out with finding them a place to stay. And that’s another thing, a lot of the people that live here helped with evacuating and stuff so I think that’s what helped out in getting everybody out of the building quickly.”
A Red Cross volunteer says they’re not going to need to open a shelter. They’ve found most who need it a place to stay, but if you know of someone who hasn’t found a place, you can call the Red Cross at 918-831-1109.