Fire changes policies, laws

Monday, October 6th 2008, 2:12 pm
By: News 9

By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Four years haven't provided any more clues in one of the city's deadliest house fires, but it has been enough time to make changes in city policy and state law.

Six people died on Sept. 26, 2004 in an Oklahoma City house after being trapped by flames and burglar bars which covered all windows.

Major Rick Yarbrough was incident commander, directing the rescue and fire efforts for the more than 30 firefighters battling the blaze.

"When we got on scene, lots of smoke, fire and lots of chaos," Yarbrough said.

After the entire Somers-Wilder family and neighborhood friend Kayla perished in the fire, 911 operators received new training and legislators passed new restrictions on burglar bars.

The city also changed its policies, Deputy Fire Chief Cecil Clay said.

"One thing that did come from this fire, joint effort from police department and fire department," Clay said. "Hitting things from two different angles sometimes gives you a lot better options and observations."

Officials were looking at the possibility the fire, which started on the porch, was some sort of prank turned bad.  A neighbor was questioned, but no arrests were made.