Fire destroys apartment unit at southeast Lawton business

Fire destroys apartment unit at southeast Lawton business
Fire crews work to put out blaze at GLT Exterior in Lawton Thursday morning.

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A Lawton business took a hit Thursday, after a fire engulfed the second floor of the building. It happened at GLT Exteriors on Railroad Street in southeast Lawton. It took firefighters two and a half hours to put the fire out.

“Assets can be replaced," said Ann Tubbs, the mother of the building’s owner. "But the little dogs cannot.”

Tubbs pulled up to see her son’s business on fire, smoke billowing out of the roof. She said her son had two black Labradors, the youngest just had a litter of puppies.

“The smoke was so heavy, the firemen told me they were probably already gone," said Tubbs.

Tubbs says her son lived in the apartment on the second floor of the building.

“I hoped the puppies were okay and Gary was not in there," she said.

Luckily, he wasn’t. The assistant fire chief says there were some challenges getting to the flames.

“Some of the issues we’re having with the structure is it being concrete with a steel veneer over part of it, stucco over the rest," said Assistant Fire Chief Thad Hulbert. "We just can’t get to the places where the fire is at due to the residential structure inside, sagging steel beams and hidden fires.”

With temperatures reaching the upper 90s, rotating out firefighters was a top priority. Two firefighters were taken to the hospital, one for a back injury, the other was heat related. Both have since been released from the hospital.

“We have to do rehab more frequently than we would on a normal situation," said Hulbert.

The fire marshal was called out to help with the investigation. Fire officials do not know how the fire started, but they say it does not look suspicious. No word on if the structure is a total loss.

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