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Local philanthropist Berta Faye Rex injured in house fire

ROBERT MEDLEY Published: June 19, 2009

/> Rex was taken to Integris Baptist Medical Center in critical condition due to smoke inhalation. Rex’s son, a Dallas-based attorney, arrived Thursday and was at the hospital with his mother. Rex also has a son who is a doctor in England, Black said.

Rex’s late husband, John Rex, was president of American Fidelity Assurance Co., and was a well-known Oklahoma City philanthropist.

Berta Rex received a lifetime achievement award from United Way of Central Oklahoma in January.

"It’s our highest honor that includes services the person is involved in beyond the United Way that reaches out to the community,” spokeswoman Erin Brewer said.

"She has been a wonderful friend to United Way through the years, and many of our staff feel a close connection.”

The fire appears accidental, a fire department spokeswoman said. has disabled the comments for this article.

Berta Faye Rex

→Received United Way of Central

Oklahoma lifetime achievement award in January.

→Served on Oklahoma City Educare and Smart Start Central Oklahoma boards.

→Married to late John W. Rex,

president of Okla-homa City American Fidelity Assurance Co. He died in 2006.

→Serves on Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Allied Arts boards and on the University of Oklahoma Institute for Breast Health board.

Wait for pros, firefighters say

Oklahoma City Fire Department Deputy Chief Cecil Clay said no one should ever try to put out a house fire before firefighters arrive because of intense heat and smoke.

"Because of modern home construction and contents of our modern homes, there is an enormous amount of plastics and materials that produce a lot more heat in a house fire than, say, 20 years ago,” Clay said. "Those materials put out really toxic gases that can affect your judgment. You don’t realize the affect on your brain when you breathe in hot gas. It can do life-changing damage to your lungs.”


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