Man's home burns down, cause being investigated

Man's home burns down, cause being investigated

LAWTON, Okla._Two people narrowly escaped injury when the camper they were sleeping in caught fire.

The Lawton Fire Department was called to an alley near Southwest 15th Street and "E" Avenue around 5:50 a.m. Monday. When they arrived, they found a camper trailer on fire. After about 15 minutes, the crews had the fire contained. The Lawton Fire Marshal's Office has been called in to investigate how it started.

This isn't the first time the place where Michael Hernandez was living has caught fire. The first house, near Southwest 14th Street and "E" Avenue, is only about a block away from where he was Monday morning. He wasn't inside at the first fire, but he was this time.

Hernandez became emotional talking about the two fires that took almost everything he has. Hernandez and his girlfriend were asleep in the camper that now sits in a pile of rubble. He can't help but think this fire is somehow connected to the one that was set while he was in jail for verbal assault.

"They pilfered, they stole and burned my house down. For no apparent reason, just people that hate me or don't want me on this block," said Hernandez.

Luckily, one of Hernandez's friends, James Deaton, was in the area.

"Came to my friend's house, seeing a fireball or something go through the sky like someone threw something and hit his house. I pretty much ran back there and woke them up and then his place started on fire," said Deaton.

Lawton Fire Marshall Mark Mitchell says they will investigate the fire and it could take up to a few weeks. He says this fire was close to being much worse.

"Based on the type of structure it was, the lightweight construction, the dynamics of the fire, it spread so rapidly. They were very fortunate that they were able to escape," said Mitchell.

Deaton says he is happy that his friend is still alive.

"It makes me feel good. I went and saved them. It makes me feel real good," said Deaton.

Mitchell says that if someone set this fire on purpose, they could be charged with first-degree arson, which carries a penalty of up to 35 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Anyone with any information about this fire is asked to call the Lawton Fire Marshal's Office at 580-581-3299.