New Details Emerge In Lowood Grill, Hodges Bend Blaze

Tulsa fire crews are still monitoring the scene at Lowood Grill and Hodges Bend after a devastating fire over the weekend.

Monday, September 25th 2023, 5:35 pm

By: News On 6, Reagan Ledbetter


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Tulsa fire crews are still monitoring the scene at Lowood Grill and Hodges Bend after a devastating fire over the weekend.

Crews say they believe the fire started in one of the businesses and traveled up through the ceiling, into the apartments above. They say everyone was able to evacuate and there weren't any injuries.

At the peak, more than 60 firefighters were on scene fighting the fire. Off-duty firefighters were called back in to help put the fire out as they battled through severe weather all night.

Fire crews called the fire frustrating because there were so many hidden spots in the building where the fire was burning that firefighters couldn't see. Above the ceiling of the restaurant there is a hidden space, then a tin roof above that, then another space, then the apartment floor. They weren't able to get water to those hidden spaces.

"We had approximately 12 engines, six ladders, three district chiefs, the entire command staff including the fire chief,” said Andy Little with Tulsa Fire.

It was all hands on deck for firefighters Saturday night and Sunday morning.

"It has been a while since we've responded to a fire where we required so many firefighters, so much manpower,” said Little.

Firefighters believe the fire started in one of the businesses and then traveled up through the ceiling, into the apartments above.

“Crews initially responded, and it appeared they had the fire under control, because you couldn't see that hidden fire, until it built to the extent where it started presenting smoke, smoke was going through the walls and floor,” said Little.

Because it turned into a four-alarm fire, Chief Michael Baker made the decision to call back all the firefighters who had just got off shift that morning. There was a deck on the roof, so when the roof collapsed, the deck came down too and hid the fire from firefighters.

"We got up there with chainsaws, made holes trying to penetrate that with water and make sure that was saturated,” said Little.

Andy Little with the Tulsa Fire Department says at one point they were concerned the building would collapse so they called in tow trucks to tow cars away.

Little says there is a lot to learn from this fire.

"At the end of the day our job is to protect property, to protect lives. We are thankful the folks living here and working here are all okay. No firefighters injured. But certainly, we'd like to save more property than we did,” said Little.

Little wants to thank the community for its help as well. He says people showed up with food and drinks for fire crews as they worked all through the night and the business owners even brought more food for firefighters Sunday morning.

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