Apartment fire leaves Lawton man homeless

LAWTON-- A Lawton man is homeless after smoke and fire damaged his apartment in the Goodwill Village complex.  Several concerned neighbors called 911 when they heard the smoke detectors going off.

Tyler Burner told investigators he was frying chicken for an afternoon meal and went outside when he saw a friend.  He said he became so wrapped up in the conversation that he forgot about the food on the stove until he saw the smoke.   Burner rushed back inside to try and put out the fire, but the smoke was too intense.

Goodwill Village Manager Donna Johnson said this is the first fire in 5 years there.  She's thankful other tenants reacted as quickly as they did.  She says they do their best to keep the tenants safe, and now believes it's a good idea for the residents to consider buying their own personal fire extinguisher.  "The best thing we can do is make sure they're prepared smoke detectors in each room and pray for the best that nothing will happen," Johnson said.

Firefighters say Burner is extremely lucky he didn't get hurt when he ran back into the apartment.  The total damage is estimated at $8,000 and it could take several months to repair.

Burner does have a place to stay for the time being.  Johnson says she'll be sure he has either a hotel room or another apartment unit.  She said he may even be able to stay with neighbors.