Devon Energy Corp. is doing what it can to make sure Oklahoma City's firefighters have the tools they need in case of a fire at the company's new downtown skyscraper.
The Oklahoma City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to accept a donation from Devon of about $11,000 worth of firefighting equipment for high-rise buildings.
Devon Tower, part of the Devon Energy Center, is the tallest building in Oklahoma by a large margin at 50 stories, and presents unique challenges for city firefighters.
The equipment will be stored almost halfway up the tower on the 23rd floor, making it easier for firefighters to respond to a blaze on the tower's top half.
“Any time we have a high-rise fire, it's so labor-intensive and involved just getting up to the fire floor and getting your folks in position,” Oklahoma City Fire Department Deputy Chief Marc Woodard said. “Once you get up there, the fire just has so much lead time on you.”
The need to be ready for a fire in a tall building was reinforced during a recent fire on the seventh floor of an eight-story apartment tower, Woodard said.
“The guys saw how labor-intensive and how exhausting it was. That really made a believer out of us,” Woodard said.