, Muskogee, OK


July 5, 2012

Neighbor rescues man

Man awakened to escape fire; home destroyed

A Muskogee man lost his home Wednesday, but was rescued when a neighbor spotted the fire and came to his aid.

Jessie Wilson was slightly injured but was able to get out of his house at 2995 S. 85th St., thanks to Blake Tarver, a neighbor who went inside to help after seeing the fire at around 11:30 a.m.

Wilson was treated by Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service responders at the scene and is with family, said Tarver, who saw the fire outside while driving to work in the Gooseneck Bend area.

Tarver said he let himself in at Wilson’s home after no answer and saw Wilson, who is paralyzed on one side, in the living room.

“He didn’t even know his house was on fire,” Tarver said. “He would’ve just been laying there and fell asleep.”

By the time Tarver got Wilson to get out and keep from going back inside, half the house was involved in flames. Boxed bullets started firing inside about the time the men reached the street, Tarver said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, said Kent Seim, Gooseneck Bend Fire Protection District  chief.

The house was a total loss, Seim said. Half of it was involved by flames and quickly was enveloped after firetrucks arrived.

The high amount of debris on the floor was continually fueling and re-igniting the fire, Seim said.

Wilson’s truck, which was located in the area where the fire began, burned. A recreational vehicle in the backyard also kept catching on fire, he said.

 Firefighters concentrated the hoses on the front door and backyard as the fire raged inside. Backup later arrived from the Brushy Mountain Volunteer Fire Department with more water.

“We almost got low on water, but we didn’t run out,” Seim said.

Flames continued to escape through the roof’s central loft and smoke billowed out of open windows and doors and up to a dozen yards into the air.

The fire also started going up the mountain after firefighters had contained it at the house, Tarver said.

 Firefighters called the American Red Cross to assist Wilson.

 Reach Alex Ewald at (918) 684-2923 or

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