Officials are investigating a fire that firefighters believe caused the death of a Cherokee County resident.

The Tahlequah Fire Department was called to a fire at a residence in the Stick Ross Mountain Road area at 8:42 p.m. Saturday, said Fire Chief Ray Hammons.

When firefighters arrived, half of the single-story house was engulfed in flames, he said.

The house is about one half-mile west of the Tahlequah city limits.

As soon as the fire was under control, firefighters entered the house and found Billy Robinson, 66, who was deceased. Robinson was a resident of the home, the chief said.

“We stopped the flames pretty quick,” Hammons said. “But the individual inside didn’t make it.”

The cause of Robinson’s death will be determined by the medical examiner.

A representative of the state fire marshal’s office was called to the scene and is investigating the cause of the blaze.

Officials believe the fire started in the kitchen, the chief said.

An agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the scene, Hammons said. The agent is a resident of Tahlequah and often offers assistance as a service, the chief said.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or

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