Lawton man narrowly escapes house fire

Lawton_A Lawton man escaped his burning house on Monday morning, but didn't realize his uncle was still inside the structure.  Firefighters arrived on the scene at the 500 block of Northwest 60th Street to find the house completely engulfed in flames.  They say they were told no one was in the home; however, firefighters continued to search and found a man inside.

Christopher Harvey's uncle managed to stay away from the flames - he suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.  Onlookers say it was amazing that firefighters were able to find the man.

Harvey woke up to use the restroom shortly after the fire broke out.  "I was sleeping, I woke up it just happened," he said.  "Come to the house - I'm not playing!  The house caught on fire.  So, I go and try to put it out, and then flames were too big for me, and they were, like, hitting my face."  He says he thought he was the only person in the house.  "I went to go check to see if my uncle was in his room, but he wasn't, so I said, ok, maybe he left."

Harvey, on crutches from an injury, managed to get out the back door, and hop the fence to safety.  But, he didn't realize that his uncle was still inside.  Firefighters rescued the uncle, and he was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.  Harvey says he's thankful everyone made it out alive.  "Usually it be packed with kids, luckily today everyone was gone," he said.

"We found out that - after arrival - that about eight children live here," says Lawton Assistant Fire Chief Lonnie London.  "Fortunately, none of them were home at the time. We went into primary and secondary search mode to make sure none of them had hid from the fire, like children tend to do sometimes."

But, not everyone made it out safely.  "We had one animal fatality, a feline," says London.  "[He] had two dogs in the back that were OK."  Firefighters were on the scene within three minutes of the call, and had the fire under control within ten.  The fire marshal is still investigating what may have sparked the fire, but they say they do know it started in the living room.