A high-rise fire alarm forced around a hundred people to evacuate their apartments in downtown Oklahoma City Sunday morning.
When firefighters got on scene, they found smoke and fire inside the Regency Tower Apartments near Northwest 6th Street and North Hudson Avenue.
“Usually when the fire alarm goes off it's like someone left their oven on and nobody goes outside,” said resident Chase Bankratz.
But when Bankratz stepped outside his apartment on the 16th floor, he knew this was different.
“Seeing the whole hallway filled with smoke it was like ‘oh it might be on our floor,’” he said.
He grabbed his two dogs and got out, along with his neighbors.
“We checked the list to see what residents need assistance and helped them to get out,” said Beverly Henderson, who lives on the 7th floor. “I asked everyone to look and scan their floors with their mind and let me know if there's someone from their floor that they didn't see that we still needed to go get.”
As the residents self-evacuated, firefighters had to remove one resident from the 19th floor. When they found the fire in the trash chute and on the roof, a high-rise fire alarm response was requested.
“A building of this size requires a lot of equipment on multiple floors,” said Captain David Macy with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. “It can be tiring for the firefighters up and down the stairs, so we have lots of manpower so that there's never a break in the work that we're doing when we're fighting a high-rise fire.”
“It appeared that somewhere between the 4th and 24th floor is where it may have started, there was a clog in the system,” Captain Macy said.
Firefighters removed the clog and quickly put out the fire on the roof and down the chute.
“It doesn't appear that it extended into the walls or any of the apartments,” he said.
“We’re still dealing with the smoke smell other than that all of the residents have been cleared to go back to their apartments,” Henderson said.
No injuries were reported. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.