The Edmond Sun

October 8, 2012

Red Cross assists Deer Creek fire victims

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Local Red Cross volunteers assisted a Deer Creek family displaced by a weekend house fire, officials said.

During the weekend, the organization helped two people in Lindsay (Garvin County), a family of four in Noble (Cleveland County), a family of five in northeast Oklahoma City and a family of six — three adults and three children — in Deer Creek, said Ken Garcia, spokesman for the Central and Western Oklahoma Region of the American Red Cross.

The organization’s disaster action team provided families with the means to get food, clothes, medication, shelter and helped comfort children after the fires, Garcia said.

“Home fires are the No. 1 disaster the Red Cross responds to and we depend on volunteers to help out their neighbors in need,” Garcia said.

Deer Creek Fire Chief Cory Beagles said the father, a veteran, was the only person home at the time the agency got a call about a structure fire at 10:37 p.m. Saturday in the 7400 block of Northwest 220th St. Other family members were out watching a movie, Beagles said.

In addition to Deer Creek, personnel from Piedmont and Oak Cliff also responded to the scene. When they arrived, they found smoke and fire coming out of the 2,100-square-foot home, Beagles said. Based on what he heard from the father, it sounded like a fire in the fireplace got out of control, he said.

By 11:48 p.m., they were beginning post-fire operations, Beagles said. No family members were injured; a firefighter received treatment for issues related to a previous illness, Beagles said.

Fire and water damage were extensive, and the homeowner’s insurance company will likely end up replacing the structure, Beagles said. Property value, which included 10 acres, was about $250,000, Beagles said.

The fires occurred during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13. Officials say it’s important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds.

What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? This year’s theme — Have 2 Ways Out! — focuses not only on escape planning and practice, but why having two ways out is a key part of a plan.

The National Fire Protection Association urges families to:

• Go through each room in your home and mark the two ways out with your sticky paper. One could be the door and the other could be a window;

• Show all family members all ways out of the home;

• Choose a place outside that you can meet if there is a fire like a tree or neighbor’s house;

• Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 911; and

• Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

Almost three-quarters of Americans have an escape plan, but less than half have practiced it, according to an NFPA survey. A third of Americans who made a plan estimated they would have at least 6 minutes to get out, but the time available is often less.

For more information on becoming a Red Cross volunteer, call 228-9500. For more information on fire prevention visit, the National Fire Protection Association’s website. | 341-2121, ext. 108