A number of mishaps could have led to a duplex's total loss after a fire started at 6911 Melrose Lane, northeast of Rockwell and Reno avenues. No one was injured.
Oklahoma City fire battalion chief Felton Morgan and a crew were returning to their station at around noon when one of them noticed smoke near Reno and Rockwell. The firefighters got closer and discovered the fire, which had not yet been reported.
Unfortunately, the fire fighters were in a ladder truck, which does not carry water. Calling the fire station, which is only about a half mile down the road, more firefighters were on the scene quickly.
Yet again there was a stumbling block. The fire fighters hooked into the closest fire hydrant and found it to be completely dry. Firefighters had to go an extra block before they found a working hydrant.
Fire fighters did get everyone out safely, even the resident cat Darla--who did receive oxygen.
A preliminary investigation indicated the dry hydrant may have failed to recharge the water line after some recent street work in the vicinity.
Fire officials said the fire was caused by an occupant trying to start a wood-burning stove in an upstairs bedroom with an oil lamp.