November 30, 2023

A 96-year-old man was rescued from his burning east Tulsa home by firefighters and a neighbor Wednesday evening, officials said.

Flames were coming “pretty heavily” from around the front door and on the front porch of a house in the 12100 block of East 25th Street when firefighters arrived around 6:15 p.m., District Capt. Eddie Mangold said.

The elderly resident was still inside the home, Mangold said.

“We just had training (Wednesday), and when the fire cuts off our main point of entry and we know we have a victim, we can enter through a bedroom window, which is what we did in this situation before we started to attack the fire,” he said.

The man was taken by ambulance to a Tulsa hospital, but Mangold said he was in good condition. He said a caregiver had also been in the house.

Antonio Perez, the man’s neighbor of about 14 years, said he was sleeping after coming home from work when his wife woke him up to tell him about the fire.

“Between the smoke I saw the old lady and (the homeowner), so I had to jump in through the window and pull him out,” Perez said. “I was going to get a hatchet to break the windows, but the windows were already open.”

Firefighters arrived while Perez was in the burning house and completed the rescue, he said.

“There was a lot of smoke, and (the homeowner and caretaker) were already coughing,” Perez said. “But we were lucky. I would do that (rescue him) again if I had to.”

The temperature at the time was less than 20 degrees, which Mangold said presented an additional challenge.

“One of our biggest concerns is water freezing in the fire trucks,” he said. “We have to make sure that the water keeps circulating in the trucks that are sitting here assisting so that they don’t freeze and bust and be inoperable.”

Mangold said the living room was badly damaged and that the entire home was smoke-damaged. The house is considered uninhabitable.

The fire started shortly after an electrical issue had occurred in the house, “and they thought they took care of it,” he said.

The state fire marshal will make a final determination on the fire’s cause, Mangold said.

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