MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 23, 2014

Area family loses home to fire

Home of nine total loss; Wagoner family in need of help

A Wagoner family’s home was destroyed by fire Thursday morning.

“I was thankful all the kids were safe,” said Tammy Hailey, who was living at the home with her husband, Robert; her aunt, her son and her five grandchildren. “It was pretty much a shock. You don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

Wagoner firefighters were called to the scene of the blaze at 809 N. Filmore St. about 8:30 a.m.

Thursday afternoon, Hailey’s thoughts were with her grandchildren.

“They will be so devastated,” she said. “Everything they owned was in there.”

Hailey’s son, Kyle Gentry, was home when the blaze began, she said. He said that he heard the smoke alarm and opened one door and the area was full of smoke. He opened an outside door, and neighbors who thought they saw smoke had arrived and were knocking on that door, she said. Neighbors and her son called 911 to report the fire.

“It just happened real quick,” she said.

Hailey said she has been told the fire started upstairs and may have been caused by electrical fault.

“It was just a total loss,” said Wagoner Police Chief Kelly Grooms.

When firefighters arrived, they initially made entry into the house, but the metal roof kept heat contained and “it just pushed them back out.” At that point, firefighters worked to protect the outside structures.

Wagoner firefighters were assisted at the scene by Whitehorn Cove and Toppers fire departments, Grooms said. The cause of the blaze had not been determined Thursday afternoon, he said.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family, and Hailey said the family was planning to stay at a Wagoner motel Thursday night.

The family also is receiving assistance from Wagoner businesses.

Hailey is employed at the Wagoner Tag Agency, and the agency is accepting donations for the family during regular business hours, said agent Steve Butler.

American Bank of Wagoner also is helping.

“We have a donation box here and an account set up for them here,” said Leta Reed, loan teller. “Anything would be appreciated.”

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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