House fire, 2 water main breaks in east Tulsa neighborhood

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Reported by: Price McKeon
Updated: 7/21/2013 11:39 pm Published: 7/21/2013 9:37 pm

A fire destroyed an east Tulsa family’s home Sunday afternoon. The fire charred everything inside their garage and the family’s van outside the garage. The homeowner said they have no insurance right now.

Philip Smith said he came home to firefighters lining the street and smoke coming out of his house. He says he was at church when he got a call that flames were shooting from his house.

Philip Smith said, “I dropped everything and took off.”

He said he thought his wife was still inside and he couldn’t get a hold of her.

Smith said, “I was very anxious. I ran around to the back window and started banging on it trying to get her to answer if she was back there.”

Tulsa Fire Department Captain Robby Roberson said, “We had a crew do a search and rescue for any possible victims.”

They found no victims inside because Smith’s wife and dog ran to a neighbor’s house.

The homeowner said, “A wave of relief went over me when I found out she was down the street with my neighbors.”

Captain Robby Roberson said when firefighters arrived at the east Tulsa home the garage door was fully engulfed in flames.

He said, “To the point the garage door had already been knocked out.”

Tulsa Fire said Smith’s garage is a total loss and there is smoke damage throughout the house. Firefighters tapped into the fire hydrate nearby. FOX23’s Price McKeon learned from a Tulsa  Water Department Field Supervisor that caused 2
water main breaks in the same East Tulsa neighborhood.

Field supervisor Monty Ragsdale told McKeon, “We have 2 breaks associated probably with the same thing.”

He said, “It’s probably going to be associated with water hammer due to the fire around the corner.”

Ragsdale said the lines probably burst from a sudden change in water pressure. Smith’s neighbor Sam Roop said he was at church when he got a call about the water main break in front of his house. He said his call was a little thing compared to his neighbor Smith’s call.

Neighbor Sam Roop said, “My heart goes out to anybody that has a fire because you can lose a lot in a fire. This is minor in comparison.”

Smith said, “Right now I’m a little bit in kind of shock and disbelief. I’m really not sure what’s going to happen next. You never think this is going to happen to you until it does.”

Investigators were out at the house Sunday afternoon investigating the cause of the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

Tulsa Water and Sewer Department said water should be restored by Sunday night to all neighbors.

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