Woman Killed, 2 Injured in Warehouse Fire
May 19, 2011
A woman was killed in a warehouse fire that sent two other people to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation Tuesday night.
Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Tim Smallwood said the woman was found inside the building, which is on Trenton Avenue just north of Interstate 244, and that medics brought her out and administered CPR before taking her to a hospital.
EMSA public information officer Chris Stevens said the woman was in critical condition when she was taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Medical Center. Smallwood said she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The two other people went to a hospital on their own and told a fire investigator there that they had been in a vehicle outside the warehouse and got blocked in by firetrucks.
They said they suffered smoke inhalation while there, Smallwood said.
In addition, a firefighter was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion, he said.
The name of the woman who died was not released Tuesday night, but Smallwood said she appeared to be in her early 20s. Her body showed no signs of burns or other trauma, he said, and she likely died from smoke inhalation.
Smallwood said that according to Fire Department records, the building has been unused for two years.
He said there was a lot of “trash” inside.
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The fire was reported shortly after 8 p.m., and more firefighters were called after the first group arrived, Smallwood said.
“We just couldn’t get to the seat of the fire” initially, he said.
The building was locked when firefighters arrived, so they cut locks on overhead doors and holes in the building to get inside, he said.
The Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials team was called because firefighters didn’t know what substances might be in the building.
“When it’s going this rapidly, this quickly, we wanted to get them here,” Smallwood said.
The fire initially was confined mostly to the east side of building but at one point spread very quickly to the north side, he said.
The Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross sent a team of volunteers to provide refreshments for firefighters as they battled the blaze.
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