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Oklahoma wildfires: Noble neighbors work to deal with what remains of their burned homes

Oklahoma wildfires: Residents in rural southeast Cleveland County deal with aftermath of wildfire that burns through 7,900 acres over the weekend.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: August 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm •  Published: August 6, 2012

The wildfire that snaked its way through the neighborhood in rural Noble left little but destruction in its wake.

A small neighborhood of mostly mobile homes and small acreages once filled the wooded area, which is a left-hand turn off the 10200 block of Maguire Road.

Tim Jones and his father removed shards of glass from the side of a mobile home. The deck and skirting of the home are gone, with generous amounts of ash and soot left in their place.

Jones hangs out of the inside of the home, which finally had electricity restored Monday. An old tire dump smolders nearby.

“They could burn for weeks … that's what they're telling us,” Jones said. “Everything around me … is just burned.”

Jones isn't exaggerating. His father, who shares the same name as his son, described the path the fire took before it claimed his son's deck and porch area.

“It snaked its way down that side of the street,” the elder Jones said, pointing to charred homes across the street from his son's home.

“Then it headed down that way and snaked its way back here by 7 or 8 (Friday) night.”

Jones lost some sheds and other outbuildings to blaze, and one of his dogs was killed, as well. His home, on the other hand, suffered little interior damage, and he said he was fully insured.

“I feel lucky,” Jones said, looking around at what's left of his neighborhood. “We'll rebuild everything, but a lot of these people lost everything … and they don't have insurance.”

Only a few other properties in the heavily wooded neighborhood survived the blaze, which started Friday and continued to give Norman firefighters issues into Monday.

According to state emergency officials, wildfires in Cleveland County have burned 7,900 acres since Friday and claimed dozens of structures, including several homes in the hardest-hit rural areas.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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