86-year-old dies in a house fire in north Tulsa Sunday

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Reported by: Eddie Randle
Updated: 12/01/2013 9:36 pm Published: 12/01/2013 4:14 pm

A woman is dead after a fire ripped through a north Tulsa home early Sunday morning.

It happened in a neighborhood near Woodrow Place and north Peoria.

FOX23 spoke with investigators at the scene about what they believe started the fire.

FOX23 learned fire crews were called to a house around 3:30 Sunday morning.

"When we arrived on scene they had heavy flames showing through the roof of it," Tulsa Fire Department's Public Information Officer Stan May told FOX23.

While the house smoldered, fire officials found out the homeowner was stuck inside.

"We did a quick search and managed to get her out before we had to go defensive, it was almost totally involved when we got there," May continued.

Fire crews tell FOX23 they were faced with some challenges while trying to get the flames out.

"They were doing some remodeling, they didn't have all the sheet rock on the ceiling in the living room, which allowed it to get right up in the attic and run throughout the house," May said.

After talking to one of the relatives who lived with the victim, fire crews were able to start piecing together what may have caused this blaze.

"They used space heaters to try and keep warm and that's one of the areas we're looking at, we didn't find a working smoke detector either," May confirmed.

May also tells FOX23 it's pretty typical, when the weather cools down space heaters raise in numbers. However, May told us if you use them you can't overlook making sure your smoke detectors and heaters are up to date and code.

"The big thing is keep it 3 feet away from anything that will burn because it will catch it on fire if it's that close," May said.

A preventable risk that crews say can't be ignored.

Fire officials tell us this fire remains under investigation.

As FOX23 was on the scene, we had one woman talk to us off camera and told us the man who lives across the street is the son of the woman who lived here.

She told us he banged on the door trying to alert his mother her home was on fire.
Unfortunately, the flames and smoke had already taken over the home.

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