Ada Deals With Three Deadly House Fires
ADA, Oklahoma - The City of Ada experienced a big loss after multiple house fires claimed the lives of three elderly people in the span of just 10 days. Before this, the area hadn't had a fatal fire in years.
Ada firefighters said the consecutive deadly fires are definitely unusual, and a shock to the city and the department.
"Very unusual for me, I've been here for 23 years, and it's a first for me to even three in a year," said Capt. Bryan Reed of the Ada Fire Department.
"It kind of wakes you up you know, you take things for granted until this happens."
On Nov. 17, an early morning fire on Egypt Road took the life of grandfather Ruebin Orphan.
"Caring dad, loving dad. He would just do anything for you, take care of anything you needed, for an 80-year-old he still got around pretty good," said Orphan's son, Ray Orphan.
Officials said Ruebin Orphan died trying to save the lives of his two granddaughters and their friend before being overcome by the flames.
"I believe that's what kept him going; that's what he loved to do was take care of them" Ray Orphan said.
The very next day on Nov. 18, another fire killed a man two miles west of Ada on State Highway 19.
"When the fire crews got there, it was fully involved and no way to save the house,” Reed said.
Jimmy Caton, 88, who fought in World War II, was found dead and the fire is under investigation.
And just one day before Thanksgiving, an 83-year-old woman was found inside a bedroom of a charred home on E. 16th Street. Fire officials said Barbara Aubrey and her dog died in a fire started by a cigarette.
The fires left officials urging every safety precaution.
"It was so cluttered with stuff, there were trails in there, the fire load was just unimaginable, which might've helped prevent the loss of life," Reed said.
Ruebin Orphan was laid to rest Friday at the Dolberg Cemetery. Funeral services for Jimmy Caton will be held Saturday morning at the Criswell Funeral Home in Ada.