A small group of heat and air technicians is being heralded as heroes for helping save an Edmond neighborhood from a raging grass fire.
The group was working on a home two weeks ago when flames sparked and their quick actions saved the day.
Fire burned through the backyard of the homes near 164th and Rockwell in the Montague neighborhood. So instead of waiting it out, the crew of heat and air specialists jumped right in to fight the fire.
"It was a spurt of the moment," said Airtron supervisor Ronald Bowling. "We knew what we had to do and what we could to save it."
A fast-moving grass fire called for a fast response from a group used to dealing with heat, but nothing like this.
"Never had anything that extreme happen before," said Bowling. "It started getting closer, so we grabbed hoses and started watering down the fence and everything until the fire department got here."
Bowling and workers with Airtron Heating and Air smelled smoke as they were checking on an installed unit inside a new home. So they ran to help.
"We were hoping the creek would stop it, and it didn't, it jumped into the neighbor's backyard, we peeked our heads over the fence, and their whole backyard was going, fence was up in flames," said builder Kendrick Hartman.
"The smoke was really bad, everybody could barely breathe, we're gagging, they were just pulling their shirts over their heads trying to keep from getting sick of the smoke, but they stuck through it, and they really helped us save two occupied houses and several that are under construction," Bowling said.
Hartman said his building company Home Creations is so thankful the Airtron workers stepped in to help save the homes. So he came bearing gifts for the unexpected heroes on Thursday. Each one received a gift card to their choice of restaurant.
"I think those guys doing what they did, grabbing those hoses, really did prevent a pretty big disaster," Hartman said.
"The fire department had a lot of fires that day, so it took them a little while to get here, and we did everything we could and were feet from losing one occupied home and one under construction, and there are eight houses right in the line, and very easily they all could've gone," Bowling said.
The group fought for the fire for about ten minutes and was able to get one girl home sick from school out to safety until firefighters came.
Investigators with the Oklahoma City Fire Department say the fire was started by a discarded cigarette butt thrown on the side of the road.