Del City FD Says Smoke Detectors Found With No Batteries After 4 Escape Fire

Thursday, October 18th 2018, 6:49 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Four people managed to escape a burning house in Del City.

Three women and a man lived in the house. The man threw his wheelchair through a window and crawled out.
Firefighters say the four made it out with seconds to spare.

The fire started in the garage and quickly spread through the attic.

The residents inside didn’t get much warning, the smoke detectors inside didn’t go off.

"Yes, we were sleeping and then he just started screaming the house is on fire. So, we all took off running. We were running so hard. We were scared, so we were running around. We didn't know what to do,” said Michele Tubby, who was in the house.

The gentleman who lives in the house almost didn’t make it out.

“He threw his wheelchair because he only has one leg. And he just jumped up and just ran. One leg,” said Tubby. "I didn't think he would. He got trapped for a minute so."

Firefighters searched the home for smoke detectors.

"We said, hey look for the smoke detectors and sure enough they brought them out one at a time and found the smoke detectors,” said Fire Chief Brandon Pursell of the Del City Fire Department. “Unfortunately, neither one had batteries in them."

Firefighters say this is a recovery house where people go to recover from drug or alcohol abuse, but News 9 found a pile of empty beer cans by the garage and firefighters found drug paraphernalia inside. 

Investigators say there was no heat source in the garage, so they may never know exactly how the fire started. But they say this should be a warning for people to have working smoke detectors.

"The batteries need to be replaced very six months. If you don't have a working smoke detector contact your local fire department. We'd be happy to come install one, change the batteries,” said Pursell.

Firefighters recommend replacing the batteries in your smoke detector when you move your clocks ahead or back for daylight savings time. That happens again November 4.