Tuesday's Deadly Fire Wasn't the First Case of Arson at OKC Apartments
By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A building that investigators believe was intentionally set on fire early Tuesday morning has a history of fires, including another that was intentionally set.
According to fire records, the building was intentionally set on fire 6 years ago. That investigation is still open because no one came forward and there were no witnesses. However, unlike the fire in 2003, Tuesday's fire was deadly killing three of the building's occupants.
Lynn Davis lives next door to the building and watched helplessly as flames consumed the apartment where her boyfriend, 52-year-old Kenneth McReynolds, lived.
"I loved him so much," Davis said. "This is crazy to find out it was deliberately set and my man had to lose his life because of it. That's crazy."
Davis said this isn't the first fire she remembers. The last one she said she remembers was in October 2006. Records showed it was possibly set by a discarded cigarette, but another fire in July of 2003 was no accident. Investigators confirmed it was intentionally set but still have no leads.
A picture obtained by NEWS 9 showed damage to the front of the property. Residents at the time were lucky the blaze didn't spread throughout the building like it did Tuesday morning.
"The construction of these older homes does play into fire progression, and I would suspect this could be balloon construction that has a lot of voids in it that would allow the fire to progress really quickly," said Oklahoma City Fire Deputy Chief Cecil Clay.
While all clues for Tuesday's fire lead investigators to think arson, the investigation is still ongoing.
"There are some areas that are of concern to us, so we have taken some samples from those areas and we have sent those to OSBI for further examination," said fire investigator Dwayne Doolittle.
Mourning neighbors said they hope someone comes forward, soon.
"If anybody knows anything, tell somebody something," Davis said.
The fire department got a complaint in 2007 that the building was not up to fire code. Officials did find a number of violations, but after notifying the owner, the property was brought up to fire code compliance.
City records showed the current owners did get a fire restoration permit in 2004, but did not have the property inspected.
More on News9.com: Investigators Say Deadly Blaze Was Arson