LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -An early morning fire destroyed a duplex in north Lawton Wednesday morning, leaving five people without a place to live.
Firefighters say when they arrived at the home at Northwest 13th Street and Taft Avenue around 8:15 a.m., there was smoke coming from the roof. The front door to the unit on the right had been kicked in by a neighbor in an effort to see if anyone was still inside. Luckily, everyone made it out safely.
The owner, Paula Revels, lives with three others in the unit on the left. They were sleeping when a neighbor pounded on the door and helped them get out. The fire marshal said it looks like the fire started in the unit on the right side. Revels says a woman just moved into that unit a week ago.
"She had just moved in and she was struggling trying to get her utilities turned on. So, I'm assuming she had a candle burning, maybe and left the house with a candle burning," Revels said.
Revels says she is not focusing on being upset at what may have caused the fire, she is just thankful that everyone got out.
"I didn't smell anything...nothing. Like I said, I just ran outside in my pajamas and the house was on fire," Revels said.
Fire Marshal Joe Cintron says the department acted quickly to get this fire out and no surrounding homes were in danger or damaged.
"They did a pretty good job. Within three to five minutes the fire was down and then afterward they had to knock it down some more and investigate," Cintron said.
Revels says she will have to find somewhere else for her and her family to stay.
"They're telling us the whole building is being condemned because there is so much damage to the roof. We don't have anywhere to go now, so we will have to try and figure it out from here," Revels said
The fire is still under investigation. There is no official word on the cause. The Red Cross has been called to help all the residents.