The Edmond Sun

March 24, 2014

Official IDs 15-year-old Guthrie fire victim

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
Special to The Sun

GUTHRIE — A fire official has released the name of a 15-year-old victim killed during a weekend fire in Guthrie.

Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said at 12:39 a.m. Saturday, firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire at 716 E. Springer Ave. Crews found heavy fire involvement on the back side of the house, with flames visible through the roof.  

Off duty Guthrie personnel were called in and the agency requested assistance from Oak Cliff, Harlow said. Crews and Guthrie police officers were met in the front yard by a female resident and 10-year-old boy who said a 15-year-old boy was still in the home in his bedroom, Harlow said.

Officers had tried to make entry into the home but were quickly driven back outside by the intense smoke and heat, Harlow said. Fire crews were met with heavy fire and smoke conditions in the stairway leading to the second floor.

Harlow said crews were able to advance to the top of the stairway where the intense heat drove them back down the stairs. Harlow said they made access to a bedroom from an outside window where they found Terick Robert Jackson, 15, who was pronounced dead at the scene.  

The state medical examiner’s office is expected to perform an autopsy to determine exact cause of death, Harlow said.

Fire crews were able to control the fire within 20 minutes, but remained on scene for about two hours to cool hot spots and make sure no rekindles occurred, Harlow said.

Due to heavy fire and structural damage to a portion of the home, it has been declared uninhabitable with losses exceeding $50,000, Harlow said.

An investigation into the fire’s cause revealed that the fire started in the kitchen of the home on the first floor, Harlow said. The exact cause is still undetermined but does appear to be electrical in nature, Harlow said.

There were no working smoke detectors found in the home by investigators, Harlow said. He reminded all citizens that having and maintaining a working smoke detector truly can save lives.  

“Smoke detectors are very economical and having these safety devices in your home is a small price to pay for your safety,” Harlow said.

Harlow, Guthrie Fire Capt. Jason Starns and State Fire Marshal Agent Anthony Reed investigated the fire.



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