Burned Out OKC Homeowners Total Up Losses One Week Later

Wednesday, September 7th 2011, 8:24 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – The wildfire that erupted last Tuesday in northeast Oklahoma City scorched thousands of acres. One week later, homeowners were still adding up their losses.

Many people, like Phil Jackson, lost everything including their homes and barns.

"The winds were pretty high. It was just like maddening, I mean, a big puff of white smoke," Jackson said.

That was the last thing he saw before he was forced to leave his home of 23 years. He and his wife have been living in a hotel room since.

"My insurance company has been working with us, so, hopefully, in the next week or so, we can be in some more permanent housing," he said.

In the meantime, Jackson is trying to recover what he can. He found some of his wife's china, but everything else is a total loss. What were once valuable items are now worthless.

"That car was a 1951 Pontiac Chief that had 68,000 original miles on it. It had been completely restored—new interior, new tires, headliner, everything."

Someone, however, has found value in the debris.

"This is the AC unit," Jackson said. "As you can tell, someone has been by, pulled all four ends off it and got the motor out of it, the part with all the copper I guess."

Jackson said that even though his home is a pile of ashes, he doesn't want looters on his property. He's now taking steps to keep them out.

"We worked very hard for what we had and they are coming to scavenge for what we had. That's pretty upsetting," he said.

People have stopped and ask Jackson if they can gather up the scrap metal, but he has turned them away.

He said he does plan to rebuild in about a year.