Three people are lucky to be alive after an explosion in a northeast Oklahoma City home Sunday morning.
According to Oklahoma City fire crews, the fire started around 9:30 am in the 3200 block of NE 15 Street.
The victim, an unnamed man, was smoking while using an oxygen tank, according to his mother. She said she left the room for a brief moment and when she returned, her son’s face had caught fire.
The house caught on fire directly afterward, according to neighbors. Tim McGlynn lived across the street. He said his children told him his neighbor’s home was on fire and he could hear the woman in the house calling for help.
McGlynn said he ran across the street to help the victim who was trying to make his way out of his burning home, but was unable to move.
“He was sitting in the doorway and he couldn't get out so I just I felt the need to grab him and pull him out,” McGlynn said.
Then, the explosion happened. It was so forceful, people three blocks away said it shook them out of bed.
“We were still in the doorway. It knocked us maybe about 5 or 6 foot back from the front. My shoes are still up there. It blew me out of my shoes,” he said.
“We had two tanks explode. One went through the wall, the other was found out here in the front yard,” said acting chief on scene Dwayne Torres.
Torres said there several other tanks found in the home.
First responders transported the man to OU Medical Center with unknown injuries. Officials said the house was a total loss; the explosion tore off the backside of the home and left only the front façade facing the street.
The neighboring house was also charred by the explosion, but Torres said it was vacant.
“Smoking and oxygen is a bad thing,” he said. “All that does is increase the fire and things of that nature. We have it all the time, people smoking on oxygen.”
McGlynn said he and the man’s mother was uninjured, but he recoiled from his neighbors calling him a hero.
"(I was) just doing the same thing that everybody else would've done if they were down here, I guess," he said.