Lawton apartment residents awake to fire

Lawton_Some Lawton residents woke to a frightening scene Wednesday morning.  Their apartments were on fire.  Someone had left a candle burning overnight, and fire officials say that's what caused the blaze.  Four residents were forced from their homes at the Tanglewood Two Apartments in northwest Lawton.

Most of the residents were sleeping when the fire was discovered.  Neighbors said they heard banging on their door, but thought it was someone knocking on their neighbor's door.  David Hernandez was sleeping at the time of the fire.  "I was sleeping on the couch and my friend woke up to fire," he said.  "His hair was singed.  I went to get a bucket of water but it was too big."

He said it felt like it was over in moments.  The fire left its mark, too; a burned couch, air conditioner, and clothes melted to the hanger.  Hernandez said he's never had an experience like this.

James Conyers with the American Red Cross said his heart goes out to fire victims, who may have just lost everything.  "We try to calm the families down, and let them know we are there to assist," he said.

Hernandez said he's going to try and stay positive while he looks for a new place to live.  "I just really hurt a lot," he said.  "It brings a tear to your eye when you see your house burn down.  It's really a blank spot in your mind... lots of stuff going through your head.

Lawton Fire Officials say there is a positive note, though.  No victims or firefighters were injured, and possessions can always be replaced.  The Red Cross is always there for fire victims and their families, but their funds are running low with all the disasters Texoma has seen.  If you would like to contribute to the Great Plains Disaster Fund, call 580-355-2480.