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Oklahoma City fire crews busiest during the bitter cold


An Oklahoma City man's Wednesday death is the latest in a troubling ... and three other people died the same week after fires broke out in two homes. Fulkerson said it's a particularly high number going into the year as there were a total of 10 fire ...


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Cold snap raises concern for OKC's pets Oklahoma City firefighters work to control a fire at the Village at Stratford Apartments last weekThis fire was not fatal[Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman] An Oklahoma City man's Wednesday death is the latest in a troubling number of fire-related deaths this month. About 4:50 a.mWednesday, firefighters responded to the 1100 block of SW 19 where smoke could be seen billowing from a single-story homeInside, firefighters encountered heavy fire in a back room and located a man in a hallway. Crews at the scene attempted to resuscitate the victim, whose name was not released, but he later died. Less than a month into the year, Oklahoma City has already seen seven fire-related deaths in 2018, fire officials saidThat figure is just three shy of the city's total for all of 2017. “We know that, anytime that the temperatures dip and get cold, that we'll be busier,” Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson said“As it pertains to structure fires, it's always been that wayThis year, however, has been particularly bad.” Temperatures this week dropped well below freezing for much of the state, part of a series of arctic fronts that first blasted the state in December, said Gary McManus, Oklahoma state climatologist. “That first big arctic front on December 21st ushered in all this cold air and we've just seen repeated arctic fronts every few days, one or two a week, since that time period,” McManus said. When looking at late December to mid January, McManus said it was actually colder last year as there were more recorded hours below freezingBut cold fronts this year have packed a punch, leading to an extended period of cold air. Three people were found dead after a Saturday morning fire at a vacant home in the 200 block of N Blackwelder Avenue, and three other people died the same week after fires broke out in two homes. Fulkerson said it's a particularly high number going into the year as there were a total of 10 fire-related fatalities in the city last yearHe also said each incident had one thing in common. “There were no working smoke alarms in any of those homes,” Fulkerson said. With the fatal fires and the 53 total structure fires firefighters had encountered for the year as of early Wednesday afternoon, Fulkerson said the department is pushing hard to re-educate the public of the importance of having working smoke alarms installed. Although it's still unknown what caused each of the fatal fires, Fulkerson said it was likely that the three victims in Saturday's fire were transients looking for a place to stay warmHe said neighbors reported seeing homeless people in and out of the homeDuring search of a vacant home next door, firefighters found the remnants of several small fires. “These people, sadly, are in survival mode," he said"It's cold outside, they're without a home, they're going to go any place that they can to stay warmThat is a considerable problem that we're seeing right now." In 2017, firefighters responded to 400 structure fires, which, when averaged by month, is much lower than the number they've responded to in January. A large number of the structure fires have been at vacant properties, and Fulkerson said property owners should check regularly to make sure the buildings are properly secured. “In reality, they're going to get in, so you're going to just have to go by there more regularly and make sure it's boarded up well and keep doing that,” he said. Like their counterparts in Oklahoma City, firefighters in Tulsa have been busy with structure fires this month, with five fire-related fatalitiesIn 2017, Tulsa had a total of 10 fire-related deaths, a fire department official said. The cause of those fires is also undetermined. Fulkerson said he expects the number of structure fires to drop as the weather warms, but fires are expected as long the cold weather stays in place. “Every time we have a bitter cold night, that's when we get really busy,” Fulkerson said. $(document).ready(function() { var isBlog = false; try { $.get('//newsok.com/json?method=Search.articles&tags=' + articleSection, function(response) { var data = $.parseJSON(response); //console.dir(data); // now let's make sure current article is not on the list filtered = $.grep(data, function(e) { return e.module_id != }); // build the list var totalItems = filtered.length; $.each(filtered, function(index, val){ // console.log(val); var status = index > 2 ? 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Oklahoma City firefighters work to control a fire at the Village at Stratford Apartments last weekThis fire was not fatal[Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman] File: A small dog rests its head on a man's shoulderPet owners are concerned as OKC experiences cold temperaturesPhoto by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman archives $(document).ready(function() { setTimeout( function() { initNextGenGallery('0'); }, 4000 ); }); Josh Wallace read more › .widget.minimal.boxed .selected_options label { display: block; margin: 0; } .widget.minimal.boxed.selected_options input { margin: 0 5px 0 0; float: left; } [onclick]{ cursor:pointer; } .widget.minimal.boxed{ background: #f6f6f6; clear: both; padding: 15px; font-size: 15px; border: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,.1); overflow: hidden; } .widget.minimal.boxed .hd{ padding-top:0; border-top:none; } .widget.minimal.boxed .icon-envelope{ color:#0099e6; } .widget.minimal.boxed #newsletterWrapper{ padding-bottom:0; } .widget.minimal.boxed #newsletterWrapper input{ vertical-align:middle; } .widget.minimal.boxed .view-sample{ display:inline-block; color:#0099e6 !important; } .widget.minimal.boxed #email { width:65%; } .span8 .widget.minimal.boxed .input-append { width:58%; } .span8 .widget.minimal.boxed #email { width:68%; } /* mobile uses the id gridSystem */ #gridSystem .widget.minimal.boxed{ margin-bottom:10px; padding:8px; } #gridSystem .widget.minimal.boxed .input-append { width:100%; margin-bottom:10px; } #gridSystem .widget.minimal.boxed .input-append .btn{ margin-left:-4px; } #gridSystem .widget.minimal.boxed .hd{ width:95%;padding-bottom: 5px; } Subscribe to NewsOK's Breaking News We will send you breaking news notifications as news happens, locally or whereverDelivered as warranted at any time    View sample .thumbnails-a .trc_rbox_header { margin-bottom: 10px; display: block; border-top: 3px solid #CCC; border-bottom: 1px solid #CCC; padding: 10px 0; } .trc_inner_header { font-size: 20px; margin-bottom: 5px; display: block; border-top: 3px solid #CCC; border-bottom: 1px solid #CCC; padding: 10px 0; } #taboola-below-article-hybrid-text-links { margin-bottom: 15px; } #taboola-below-article-hybrid-text-links > div > div > div > div > #rbox-t2m > div > div:nth-child(odd) { background-color: #efefef; } #taboola-below-article-hybrid-text-links > div > div > div > div > #rbox-t2m > div > div.videoCube { padding: 6px 8px; line-height: 20px; font-size: 14px !important; font-family: Georgia; border: none; } window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-a', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'hybrid-text-links-a', container: 'taboola-below-article-hybrid-text-links', placement: 'Below Article Hybrid Text Links', target_type: 'mix' }); NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article. 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