Survivors Of Fatal Norman House Fire Say Victim Had Nowhere To Go

Monday, March 28th 2011, 2:46 pm
By: News 9

Gan Matthews, News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- A 64-year-old woman died Sunday morning in Norman's first fatal fire of 2011, but working smoke detectors helped six other people in the house escape the flames.

The fire broke out around 3:00 a.m. at 1636 Chamblee in east Norman. Homeowner David Whiteside said he, his wife, daughter, son, and two grand children got out of the house, but he was unable to save Janet Bartwick, a family friend who was renting a room.

"She got kicked out of her house," said Whiteside. "She didn't have no place to go, so we took her in so she didn't have to live on the street."

The family's 26-year-old son, Aaron, is being treated for smoke inhalation. His condition has been upgraded from critical to serious. The family is staying at a local hotel for the time being.

Fire officials said the working smoke detectors probably saved the lives of the six who survived.

"Everywhere we lived we always had smoke detectors. I trust them," Whiteside said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

More: Woman Killed, Man Critically Injured In Norman House Fire