Crews Battle Both Flames, Rain To Put Out Suspicious Fire In Downtown OKC

Saturday, October 13th 2012, 1:22 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Severe weather such as the metro experience Saturday can be dangerous, but there are some who can't avoid being out in the elements; like firefighters.

Saturday afternoon, one crew was in the middle of fighting a fire in downtown Oklahoma City as lightning and heavy rain blew through. Firefighters had to pull back to make sure no one got hurt.

It was just before noon Saturday when firefighters pulled up to the house fire on the 2300 block of W. Lindley near S. Villa and W. Reno. At the time, it was barely sprinkling. Minutes later, rain began pouring and lightning started flashing.

"It's extremely dangerous," Battalion Chief Bobby Lax said.

Suddenly, firefighters had another obstacle to overcome.

"We're surrounded by metal chain link fences all around us," said Lax. "At the time the storm came through with all the lightning, we had members of the fire companies that are on top of the rigs operating our mass stream devices. We had to pull them down."

The house was fully involved when firefighters arrived and there were two explosions on either side. Firefighters were worried other homes catch fire, too, but those in charge say firefighter safety takes priority during such times.

"We did a really good job of just pulling everybody back and out of the way of any potential lightning strike area. But you still know as well as I do, lightning can strike anywhere. Those are things we have to consider."

Lax says the fire is suspicious, and a woman admitted to starting it. As of Saturday afternoon, investigators were still trying to track her down. The battalion chief says two people were living in the house. Firefighters were looking for them, as well.

The fire destroyed the home, and it was a complete loss.