Family Calls Man Who Died In Logan County Wildfire A Hero

Monday, May 5th 2014, 11:07 pm
By: News 9

The Logan County wildfire claimed the life of one man. His family says his death is a testament to the way he lived his life.

Johnnie Ray Knox, 56, is described as a man who would literally give the shirt off his back if he had to. His home was destroyed in the wildfire and neighbors say, he was not going down without a fight.

5/5/2014 Related Story: More Residents Evacuated As Logan Co. Grass Fire Rekindles

"It's just tragic here, you're almost speechless when you see it," said Vicki Dickerson, a close family friend of Knox. "A part of me is mad at Johnnie for not leaving, but then I think he's a hero for letting that other family survive."

"I can't imagine Johnnie not getting out of there. He had no reason," said Jackie Knox, Johnnie's brother.

Johnnie's brother Jackie Knox said he truly had a heart of gold.

"He gave up his truck to another family to get out of here," he said.

"We stopped him," said Dorothy Shea Watson, a neighbor. "I begged him, I said ‘Johnnie, get in the truck, he said girl get out of here, I'm fixing to fight this fire.'"

Johnnie gave his truck to Dorothy Watson and her family.

"I couldn't believe he didn't get in the car, like he was adamant on he's going to fight this fire," said Antwoine Watson, neighbor. "He said it wasn't even going to reach here."

Another brother of Johnnie's who lives down the road, also lost his home.

"And he was walking his horses out, and he's seen my brother's truck leave and he thought Johnnie had left," said Jackie.

But, Johnnie stayed until his last moments, not realizing how quickly the fire was spreading.

"It's still really unreal to me, I mean, it hurts," said Jackie. "He's my brother."

"He was always watching out for everybody over here," said Brenda Johnson, another neighbor.

Brenda says she tried to get him to leave.

"Everybody will miss him a lot," she said.

Johnnie Knox leaves behind three daughters, and eight grandchildren, including one on the way.

The family has set up a donation account for Knox at City National Bank. Donations can be made by walking into any branch in Oklahoma or Kansas, or mailed to City National Bank, 1608 S. Division Guthrie, OK 73044.