According to fire officials, one of the four individuals hospitalized following a Southwest Oklahoma City house fire on Christmas day has died.
In an effort to keep warm, investigators say the individuals were using a garden hose to illegally transport stolen gas from one structure to another.
“I was sleeping and heard someone screaming,” said neighbor Emillio Rivera.
The screams brought Rivera out of his house Christmas morning. He says when he looked a few houses down, he saw a hysterical woman and man.
“She kept screaming and screaming and there was another guy raising his hands too and screaming, I didn’t know if they were asking for help,” he said.
Rivera has lived in the neighborhood since 1993. He says over the years things have gone downhill.
“When I moved here it was quiet nice neighbors, now it’s getting pretty bad,” said Rivera.
He says the problem is many homes have gone vacant, eventually attracting squatters and mischief.
“There’s another house across the street the river, been empty for a long time and people started getting inside too and that caught on fire too,” said Rivera.
He says while one person was killed yesterday, they're fortunate no one else died, and that the house didn't sustain further damage.
“They’re luck they didn’t blow the house, you can’t use a water hose,” said Rivera.
Following the flash fire Oklahoma Natural Gas said in part, “We extend our thoughts to all those affected by this event. Safety is our top priority at Oklahoma Natural Gas and any changes or alterations to our equipment should only be made by authorized personnel. "