A fire in northwest Oklahoma City killed a man Thursday, and destroyed his home and classic car.
Gary Chuesberg, 56, was found dead in the home at 2112 NW 20 after firefighters were called about 12:30 a.m. Investigators said there is no indication of arson. Chuesberg's death is not being investigated as a homicide.
Neighbor Dawn Schramm, 40, said she woke up and felt intense heat inside her house two doors to the west.
As residents were evacuating homes, a firefighter told her there were reports made that no one was home and the occupant was on a road trip. She said she told the firefighters someone was inside. “But by then the house was engulfed. There was no way,” Schramm said.
Schramm said Chuesberg's 1941 Hudson, which won a trophy at a recent car show, also burned in the fire.
She described her neighbor as “a nice man.”
“Loved his antique cars, those were his babies. He takes them to all the car shows. He was so proud of that,” Schramm said.
Patrick Dean got to know Chuesberg through the local chapter of a Hudson car club.
“He had that 1941 dressed up like a police car, painted black and white,” Dean said. “He drove it all over Oklahoma and Texas and Kansas. That was his daily driver for a long time.”
Dean said Chuesberg was an active member of the car club, which has a couple of dozen members in the Oklahoma City area.
“I've known him for about 12 years,” Dean said. “He was the president for a while and he's been treasurer and vice president. He was a straight up guy, really nice to talk to and funny.”