Lawton visitor tries to save house fire victims

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Two south Lawton residents died on Friday after their home went up in flames. A man in town to visit family heard the explosion and ran to attempt to save their lives, but couldn't make it. The fire started a little before 1 p.m. on Friday on Southwest G Avenue. Fire officials say the home is destroyed.

John Clark said he heard the explosion as he was loading up his pickup to head back home to Houston.

"Ran in the house, told the wife to call 911," Clark said. "The house across the street is on fire. Ran across the street. I could hear her screaming on the way across the street, but by the time I got to the corner of the house, she had quit screaming."

Clark, a former volunteer firefighter, tried to kick open the doors, but they were either locked or blocked.

"I couldn't get in the house," Clark said. "That's why I stress the importance of not blocking that exit or entry way. Because I know I could've got her out."

Lawton firefighters rolled up on the home, and Clark had to stand back and let them do their job.

"I tried, but it still wasn't enough for me," Clark said. "For me it wasn't enough to be stuck outside and to know what's going on."

Assistant Fire Chief Thad Hulbert told us they found the victims in a bedroom.

"When we arrived on scene we saw smoke and flames coming out the front door," Hulbert said. "We immediately did a search and two victims were located."

But Clark said he wished he could've done something more. Something to save the strangers he heard screaming for help in the fire.

"I'm the kind of person who takes action," Clark said. "Whether I know them, like them, don't like them. Doesn't matter. They're human."

The Lawton Fire Marshal's office is on the case, and will have more details on the victim's identities and the cause of the fire as soon as they can be released.

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