Residents flee from windows, balconies as fire guts northwest Oklahoma City apartment building

No one is seriously injured after a massive blaze destroyed the eight-unit complex, a fire department spokesman said.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Staff Writer zcampfield@opubco.com Published: July 7, 2012
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A 10-year-old boy was among those who jumped from the second story of a northwest Oklahoma City apartment after a fire broke out Saturday.

Roy Carrillo was visiting his 18-year-old sister, Edith, at Tuscany Village Apartments when they saw the door was on fire. Within minutes, strangers in the parking lot below convinced him and his sister to jump to their safety.

“I thought I was going to be dead in just a minute,” Carrillo said while neighbors brought water to the shaken siblings. “It's very, very scary.”

About 50 city firefighters were dispatched around 11:45 a.m. to tame the fast-moving blaze, which had already consumed the roof and breezeway of the eight-unit complex when they arrived, said Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Marc Woodard.

Before firefighters could even start to attack the fire, the department had to go into rescue mode. Two teams of firefighters went inside one of the smoke-filled apartments when witnesses reported two children, one possibly an infant, were trapped inside, Woodard said.

“When we have a confirmed report we'll risk a lot to save a life,” he said. “Fortunately, there wasn't two children up there — it was just a dog.”

Robert Lee Johnson Jr. said he sprained his ankle jumping from the balcony of his second-floor apartment seconds after waking up to smoke and alarms.

Johnson, who consoled his tearful fiancée while firefighters mopped up the scene Saturday, said he fled the dwelling barefoot and wearing only the pajamas in which he was sleeping.

Without insurance, he said he believes he lost all his possessions in the fire.

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