Authorities Still Investigating Cause of Waurika Fatal Fire - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Authorities Still Investigating Cause of Waurika Fatal Fire

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WAURIKA Okla_ Police said they don't suspect foul play in the fatal fire in Waurika over the weekend, but they still haven't come up with a definite cause.

A state fire marshal agent could only tell us the fire started on the first floor near the rooms where the young girl and her brothers slept. He said the girl's oldest brother was alerted to the fire when he smelled smoke.

The words "I love you" are now written on a sot-stained wall, behind which a girl died just days ago while trapped inside her burning home. Waurika Police Sergeant Jimmy Gallaher says emergency responders arrived at the peak of the fire's danger.

"The back side of the residence was on fire," Gallaher said. "We saw heavy smoke and heavy flames."

State Fire Marshal Field Agent Judah Sheppard said three others were able to escape, one of them through a rooftop window, after he remained in the home too long searching for his sister.

"The older brother goes back upstairs," Sheppard said. "The fire goes back upstairs and is forced out through a window on the roof where the fire department helped extract him off the roof."

Sheppard says Waurika Police Chief Gary Whittington was one of the first people to arrive on scene. He ran into the burning home when he was told someone may still be inside. He said despite his heroic efforts, it was too late.

"A lot of people see stuff on TV and movies," Whittington said. "People think you have all the time in the world to get out of a fire, but in reality, when a fire starts depending on a lot of factors, a fire doubles in size each minute it burns."

Sheppard said despite the devastating loss, it's a huge relief anyone made it out with their lives.

"They did not have working smoke detectors," Sheppard said. "They had them in the house, but they were not working at the time. The batteries had been removed, according to the family."

Gallaher says the girl's loss will be felt for some time.

"It's hit home for everyone," Gallaher said. "She was well known around the town."

Sheppard said the girl's parents were at work at the time of the fire and arrived just minutes after they learned their home was on fire.

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