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Cause of Stephens Co. Fire Determined

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STEPHENS CO., Okla_ State fire investigators said they may know what started a house fire overnight in Marlow. 

Monday, they were back at the home that was charred to its foundation and reduced to piles of ash, after they say a circuit was overloaded. The home burned to the ground Sunday night at Rose Road and Hillcrest, about a half-mile east of Highway 81. Our 7News cameras got there as firefighters had the fire nearly beaten and were battling smaller fires that tried to erupt again.

Investigators say people were home at the time, and a man's hands burned as he tried to smother the initial flames. The home was undergoing renovation and from the outside, it looked like a normal home. Inside though, investigators say it was a trailer home that had been added onto. Because of that, they say it acted as a convection oven, as it sweltered under several layers of walls.

State investigators combed the scene Monday where all that's left of this home is smoldering ash. Marlow Interim Fire Chief Ryan Hall said Sunday night, it was a raging fire that could be seen for miles.

"From the time the call came in when we first left the station, when we turned onto Highway 81, you could see the glow from there," Hall said. "We're approximately six miles away. You could see the glow from town."

He said a team of firefighters arrived within minutes of the call and weren't surprised by what they found.

"When the engine first got here, the flames were already through the roof it was fully involved when we got here," Hall said.

Firefighters said while they were focused on attacking 25-foot flames that were seen coming from this house, their attention was diverted once the fire started to move.

"There was some dangers involved with the wind conditions blowing up towards the north," Hall said. "There was a propane tank that was right there in the vicinity. We were trying to keep it cooled, plus we had some different spot fires from grass that had jumped the road and brush trucks on the other side containing those."

State Fire Investigator Judah Sheppard said the home was being renovated, and a circuit overloaded by power tools may have been the culprit. He said from what they were told, the home had existing faulty wiring that may have been compounded by the overload.

Firefighters say the home was engulfed within six minutes after it ignited. It took them two hours to extinguish it, and they spent another seven hours knocking down flare ups.

 

 

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