Oklahoma City rental house fire leaves four dead

BY ROBERT MEDLEY and JOHNNY JOHNSON Modified: November 10, 2009 at 6:48 am •  Published: November 10, 2009
Late Sunday night, 31-year-old Jose Fernando Fierro posted on his MySpace page that he was "tired” and "kick’n back having a few beers.”

By morning, flames had gutted his home and firefighters found the bodies of three women and one man inside. Oklahoma City fire and homicide investigators were working Monday to piece together what happened.

The state medical examiner’s office has not confirmed the man found dead in the rented house was Fierro and have not released the names of any of the three women whose bodies were found.

Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said a neighbor called 911 about 5:20 a.m. to report the fire at 1511 SW 56.

"Once inside, firefighters started discovering this was a fatality fire,” Knight said. "That’s when they notified our homicide unit.”

A witness who did not want his name used said firefighters pulled a woman’s body from the house.

Battalion Chief Brian Jackson said the three remaining victims "were too far gone” to remove from the house.

Melvin Watkins, whose mother-in-law owns the home, said he rented it out for the first time about three months ago to Fierro, who had been living in the house alone.

"He rented it for himself,” Watkins said. "He was going to get his kids every other weekend, and he said he wanted a nice place where there was peace and quiet.”

Watkins said he knew very little about Fierro, other than he seemed like a nice person.

One thing the landlord did know was that the smoke detectors in the house worked just fine three months ago.

"When he moved in, I had just put new batteries in,” he said. "I can still see him putting his hands over his ears when I pushed the test button.


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