Bixby man dies in early morning house fire

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Story by: Janai Norman
Updated: 9/02/2013 12:16 pm Published: 9/02/2013 7:03 am

Fire investigators are still working to determine a cause in the early morning blaze that left one man dead when crews say a home near East 169th Street South and 86th East Avenue was fully engulfed in flames.

The local fire chief tells FOX23 News having a plan in this type of emergency, like a meeting place for your family, can prevent the type of tragedy that happened Monday.

“You just see a body just hanging there, you don’t know if they’re moving.”

FOX23 crews talked with a handful of neighbors, including Sharon Juntur, who detailed what happened early Monday morning, including what they smelled, “My house right now stinks so bad of just smoke,” Juntur said.

And the gruesome sights they saw.

“I just saw red and it scared me because you could just see flames, it was just pouring out,” she began. “…and I saw them do CPR, they did CPR on him for about 15 minutes.”

We confirmed with firefighters inside was a mom, son and the son’s girlfriend.

The son was one of the residents we’re learning made it outside safely, but made the decision to go back inside the burning house.

Juntur explains why.

“His mom come (sic) out the front door, his girlfriend come out the back door. He thought she was still in there, so he went back in to get his mom.”

Bixby Fire Chief Steve Abel tells us that almost always ends tragically.

“The average temperature is 700 degrees [with] smoke. We do not, do not encourage anybody to do that,” Juntur said. “You can’t survive it. You just can’t survive it; it proves that way every time.”

We uncovered what Abel agrees may be the single, most effective way to prevent ever having to go inside a burning home.

Make a family plan that includes a safe meeting area outside where everyone can be accounted for.

“You see those in every building you can go into, the same applies to residences, no doubt about it, it makes a difference.”

The mom and girlfriend were outside safely, and were visibly shaken up on the scene.

Whether that meeting place is at a neighbor’s home or a tree a safe distance away, Chief Abel says talk about it with your family so everyone is on the same page.

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