The Oklahoma City Fire Department reports in 2018, they saw a high number of fire fatalities. Since January, 22 lives were claimed by the flames.
Twelve of the fatalities occurred in January alone.
One of the most recent deaths is that of 15-year-old Melannie Saucedo. She passed after being pulled from a mobile home fire near MacArthur Boulevard on Monday.
The fire started near a Christmas decoration and investigators are calling it an accident.
Saucedo’s funeral was Friday.
“We are going to do everything we can to make a difference. We hate it for the families, we hate for the friends. It effects so many people in so many ways. It's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking,” said Oklahoma City Fire Department’s Public Information Officer Benny Fulkerson.
Of the 22 deaths, three of those people were killed in a vacant house fire on January 13, one person died in a vacant church fire on June 25, and one of the fatalities was a suicide.
But Fulkerson points out that only one of the 22 deaths took place in a structure with confirmed, working smoke alarms.
“Year to date, we have installed 8,200 smoke alarms in homes across Oklahoma City. That's pretty amazing. That's by far a record for our department,” he said. “We know that is the difference between life and death, very often. You have to have working smoke detectors in your home.”
Anyone can contact Oklahoma City Fire for a free smoke detector.
Also there has been a GoFundMe account established for the 15-year-old girl who recently passed away.