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Fire Victims Recall Blaze

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LAWTON Okla_ The massive fire that caught two houses and a garage on fire last night in central Lawton has been deemed accidental.

It started in the garage where someone was staying, but they have not been able to determine exactly what started the fire. They're looking into the possibility that it was electrical, because it started near an outlet. However, there were also cigarettes ashes nearby. The fire spread quickly to the house and the next-door neighbor's house.

The house has fire damage, and all the damage is where 81-year-old Alice Waddle is living. She had just laid down when her window broke from the heat of the flames. She managed to get out before the fire spread to her house.

"Last night, I was just too upset and angry to realize it," Waddle said. "They wanted to know if I wanted to go to the hospital, but I said, ‘No. I'm alright.'"

It had been just two hours after a family friend of Waddle's, Donald Yarbrough, had left her house. Yarbrough calls Waddle "Mom". To make it all worse, they had just finished remodeling the room that day.

"We just put in new doors for her, and this place was looking good when we left here yesterday," Yarbrough said. "Then, my mom called me and said, ‘Babe, my house is on fire.'"

Yarbrough lives in Corum, which is about an hour away in Stephens County. He said he made it in what felt like 15 minutes, but he said it was well worth it to find Waddle safe.

"She was sitting across the street in her wheel chair, and the rest is history," Yarbrough said.

The next step is to rebuild. To do that, they will have to come out of pocket.

"We're probably looking at about $8,000-$10,000 worth of damage," Yarbrough said. "You're talking the siding the sockets, the roof itself, the re-shingling."

Right now, Waddle is not able to live in her house, but the Red Cross is helping. They put her in a hotel Monday night. She will be there for three days. They are also helping her with food and getting a coat, because the fire destroyed her other one.

Along with helping Waddle, the Red Cross has informed her of other services like Salvation Army and churches to help her with any needs she may have.

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