Firefighters responded to a 911 call around 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Crews arrived within three minutes, but the mobile home at 8703 Southeast 26th Street was already engulfed in flames.
A neighbor walking his dog noticed the smoke coming out of the trailer. He didn’t have his phone, and knocked on the camper across the street to find Dwight Zimbleman. Zimbleman saw the smoke and called 911 right away.
“When 911 had me on the phone, they asked me if I could see him, and I couldn’t see him anywhere outside so I was worried,” said Zimbleman. He said he wanted to help, but couldn’t. “My first thought was to go over there, but the front door was blocked off with smoke.”
Firefighters found an elderly man dead inside the home. The cause of the fire and his death are being investigated.
“He was a veteran. He was disabled so he was going through some hard times,” said Joy Nicholson, another neighbor. She said he would often sit on his front porch, but kept to himself. “Its an incredible tragedy,” she said.
Even though the elderly man did not survive, neighbors commend the firefighters for getting there quickly and putting out the fire.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office was on the scene before firefighters arrived. Public Information Officer Mark Opgrande said deputies were on their way to serve a lock-out notice to the resident. He needed to get his mobile home off the property. Opgrande said they gave him a 24 hour notice the day before. It is unknown if the two incidents are related.