Fire claims family pet
Little is known about what started a fire Thursday morning which claimed the life of a dog and forced evacuation from four apartments at the Colonial Square Apartments in Sallisaw.
The Sallisaw Fire Department responded to the fire shortly before 10 a.m. at 800 E. Creek and had the fire extinguished in a few minutes, Fire Chief Anthony Armstrong reported.
“We arrived pretty quickly after we got the call and there was heavy smoke coming from Apartment #3 which is part of a whole unit that had to be evacuated,” he said. We had the fire out in 15 minutes but the electricity is off now and those residents will have to be relocated for now.”
Neighbors from the other units at the complex who reported the fire said smoke was spotted coming from an apartment belonging to Lahoma Burns who was not home at the time.
Ronnie Allen, whose apartment adjoins Burns' apartment noticed the smoke coming from next door.
“When I saw the smoke coming from inside, I heard a scratching noise at the door and tried to open it to get to the dog but the smoke and fire were just too much,” he said.
Burns said she was at a clinic when she was informed by her neighbors her apartment was on fire.
She was tearful as she talked about her two grandsons who live with her and their dog that couldn't be saved.
“I had all their clothes and things they owned and the dog belonged to them. He was a beautiful dog. They're going to be heartbroken when they get back from school,” she said.
Edith Brown, a neighbor, said she and Burns had gone to the clinic together and were running other errands.
“It's just sad. She has grandsons who are 13 and 6 and she feels so badly for them for their clothes and stuff getting destroyed plus losing their dog. He was a beautiful dog, part Lab and pit bull,”
She said.“We are thankful everyone is ok tho.”
Property Manager Angela Bissell said the residents at the apartment complex are like one close family and said she felt bad this happened.
“We're glad everyone is ok. Now I just have to find out what we can do to find places to relocate everyone in that unit for now,” she said.
Other neighbors said they would help gather some things to help Burns and her two grandsons. They said they will accept any donations to help Burns and her grandsons. Burns said her 13-year-old grandson wears size 14 and her six-year-old grandson wears a size 7.
Bissell said anyone wanting to help the fire victims may contact her at 479-806-9270 or bring donations by at 615 W. Houser.