MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 17, 2014

Homeowner grateful for fire call

Firefighters were on scene before he could report house blaze

Arthur Kaiser doesn’t know who made the call to 911 early Wednesday, but he is grateful that someone did to report his house on fire.

Kaiser said he believes that authorities received the call several minutes before he was aware of the fire that damaged much of his house in the 2900 block of South Cherokee Street.

Referring to the caller as his “guardian angel,” Kaiser said he wanted to thank them.

“They definitely saved my life,” he said.

Records show that authorities were notified of the blaze at 3:14 a.m.

Kaiser said that when he woke, heard a crackle and a pop and had difficulty breathing.

He initially thought he might have left the kitchen stove on.

He stood up and realized that he was walking into smoke in his house, he said. He grabbed his cell phone and started to call 911 while he was leaving his home. Just as he stepped outside the front door, firefighters arrived, he said.

Fire crews “did an amazing job,” he said. While extinguishing the flames, they made sure that his two dogs were safe and also moved a television out of the front room to try to protect it.

Kaiser said that it wasn’t until he stepped outside that he realized how much of the home was engulfed. The flames on the outside of his home were about 10 feet high, he said.

Muskogee Fire Department Capt. Gordon Lee said fire officials will not know the dollar amount of the damage for several days.

Fire officials believe the fire started around the stovepipe of a wood-burning stove, Lee said. Firefighters had to pull down several areas of the ceiling to get to flames in the attic, he said. No one was injured in the blaze, he said.

Several hours after the fire was extinguished, Kaiser was working to salvage personal belongings.

Kaiser said he did not have a smoke alarm in his home, but he will install one as he repairs the house.

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

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