UPDATE: Wed. 7:45 a.m.The deceased has been identified by dental x-ray comparisons as Tyler Spears, 6 years old. The cause of death is carbon monoxide toxicity and thermal injury. The manner of death is pending.
Tyler Spears, 6, was killed in his bedroom early Tuesday when an explosion rocked his house in southwest Oklahoma City, authorities said.
From across the street, the blast awoke LaDonna Wooldridge, who then ran outside and found Tyler’s grandmother had fled the burning house. Carolyn Cooper was frantic in front of the home where her grandson had lived at 1310 SW 23.
Stacy Schilberg, a neighbor, said other children and family spent time with Tyler on Sunday during an Easter egg hunt.
“It’s very devastating. I can’t believe it. He is only 6. It is a loss of life,” Schilberg said.
About 5:10 a.m. Tuesday, houses shook and fire engulfed the home where Tyler lived with his grandparents.
Wooldridge said other neighbors helped Carolyn Cooper escape the burning house. Mark Cooper was at work, Wooldridge said.
“My house started rattling just like an explosion,” Wooldridge said. “My son looked out the door and said, ‘Oh my God, Carolyn’s house is on fire!’ And I just took off runnin.’”
Fire Battalion Chief Mike Walker said firefighters found Carolyn Cooper was outside of the house. She told firefighters she had been in the bathroom getting ready for the day when there was an explosion. She escaped through a window, Walker said.
Firefighters found Tyler’s body in his bedroom.
“He was still where he was in bed. She couldn’t get to him. All she could talk about was, ‘Get my baby! Get my baby out of there!’” Wooldridge said.
Carolyn Cooper suffered injuries to her back and arm and was taken by ambulance to St. Anthony Hospital, Wooldridge said.
Damian Marshall, 11, one of Tyler’s cousins, said he played soccer and other games with the boy in the neighborhood. “He was fast,” Damian said.
Wooldridge said she is taking care of three of the Coopers’ Chihuahua puppies that survived the explosion.
Wooldridge said investigators are looking at the possibility that there was a gas stove explosion. Fire Deputy Chief Marc Woodard said the cause of the fire had not been determined Tuesday, but the total loss — including value of the structure, its contents and a vehicle — was $87,000.
Tyler was a kindergartner at Columbus Enterprise Elementary School, Oklahoma City Public Schools spokeswoman Tierney Tinnin said. Counselors were available to students and staff Tuesday.
Tyler’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office Tuesday morning, a spokesman said.
Carolyn Cooper was in good condition Tuesday at St. Anthony Hospital, spokeswoman Sandra Payne said.