Discarded cigarette ignites duplex fire in northwest Oklahoma City
Firefighters battled a blaze at a northwest Oklahoma City duplex that damaged one unit and its garage.
Battalion Chief Mike Kelley said firefighters responded about 4:30 p.m. Sunday to 3009 NW 20 and found the back porch on fire. He said it appears a cigarette ignited leaves underneath the porch before spreading to the house.
The duplex consists of two units. Kelley said two adults and two children were in the front unit when the rear caught fire. He said one occupant was in the back unit and alerted his neighbors to get out of the house.
A cloud of black smoke could be seen billowing from the house for miles.
Michael Summers, 27, of Oklahoma City, said he has been living with his sister in the back unit for two days. He said he was smoking a cigarette on the back porch Sunday afternoon and threw the butt in the driveway.
“The wind must have blew it under the porch,” he said.
After discarding the cigarette, Summers said he went back inside and returned to the porch a short time later to find flames shooting up.
He said he had to run through the flames to get out and quickly alerted his neighbors to do the same.
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“I didn't expect it,” Summers said, adding that he thought the smell of smoke was coming from someone cooking outside.
Kelley said the back unit suffered severe damage but the front unit appears to be salvageable.
He said one firefighter suffered a minor back injury while fighting the fire. None of the occupants inside the duplex were injured.
Tiffany Gibson has worked for The Oklahoman since August 2011 and is a member of the enterprise team and digital desk. In addition to writing and web editing, she creates interactive features for NewsOK.com and assists with data visualization and... Read more ›