Wellston Residents Grateful to Escape Fire


Thursday, April 9th 2009, 7:26 pm
By: News 9


By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

WELLSTON, Oklahoma -- A grassfire has destroyed multiple structures near Wellston, in Lincoln County about 30 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

At least three homes have burnt to the ground in Wellston and firefighters continued their battle through the night Thursday to save more homes.

Donate to the American Red CrossNeighbors doused homes with water, as they held out hope that their homes would be saved.
Charlie Becker lost his car collection in the flames.

"You can't believe it," Becker said. "Five minutes, it was over with."

Becker was raised in Wellston and had lived in his home since 1978. The family was in shock following the fire.

"I came as fast as I could," said Wellston resident Donal Connelly. "When I got here, it was just black. You couldn't see anything."

Connelly said his biggest loss wasn't his home, it was his late mother's home located next door. She passed away last year and the home contained several valuable items to Connelly.

"We had a lot of sentimental stuff in there," Connelly said.

One Lincoln County firefighter was injured while battling the blaze. Firefighter David Milby of Iowa Tribe Fire Department out of Perkins is stabilized but in critical condition at INTEGRIS Baptist. Milby sustained burns over 26 percent of his body with 8.5 percent being third-degree burns.

"We had fires before, but nothing like this," Wellston resident Sue Flake said. "It's never blown like this before."

Becker and other residents try to have a positive outlook, despite the damage and destruction left behind.

"Thank goodness everyone made it," Becker said. "I think we're going to be alright."