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6-year-old dies in house explosion in southwest Oklahoma City

A 6-year-old boy was killed Tuesday when a house exploded and caught fire in southwest Oklahoma City. The boy’s grandmother was hurt in the fire.
by Robert Medley Modified: April 23, 2014 at 7:53 am •  Published: April 22, 2014

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.

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by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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