Firefighters putting out flareups in Midwest City, searching for cause of grassfires

From staff reports Modified: April 10, 2009 at 1:09 pm •  Published: April 10, 2009
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MIDWEST CITY -- Even as firefighters continue to douse hot spots and watch for flareups, investigators are digging today into the cause of the wildfire that destroyed 17 homes and damaged many more in the Midwest City limits.

"We would like to know what caused the fire," Midwest City Fire Marshal Jerry Lojka said. The first fire was reported about 3 p.m. Thursday at SW 29 and Post Road, quickly growing into an inferno that devastated the Turtlewood, Windsong and Oakwood additions, among others. More houses, barns and outbuildings burned in Choctaw and other places in eastern Oklahoma County, with today's tally standing at about 100 structures for the entire county.

It won't be easy, Lojka said, but he does think it is possible to determine the cause of the Midwest City fire.

Lojka said during a noon update that two or three subdivision residents had smoke inhalation injuries, and many firefighters got soot in their eyes but none had serious injuries.

"We all want to get back to normalcy, but unfortunately it's going to be a long time for some of these folks who lost their homes," Lojka said. He said about 75 people spent the night in the shelter, but all residents were released to go back to their homes at 7:30 this morning.

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