Steve Boatman woke up before the sun Monday morning to a call from a neighbor alerting him that their other neighbor’s home appeared to be in flames.
A fire started around 5 am in a home in the gated Territory Ridge neighborhood on the back end of the development on Whispering Hills. The development is on Coffee Creek between Indian Meridian and Henney Road in the Luther Fire Department’s district.
While Boatman and the homeowner used fire extinguishers and hoses to battle the flames in the front room of the house, Luther Fire Department arrived on scene with an engine, tanker trunk, other vehicles and volunteer firefighters. Fire crews from Edmond and Oklahoma City also assisted to extinguish the blaze. The neighborhood does not have fire hydrants so using LFD’s tanker truck was crucial to have water to fight the fire.
After the fire was extinguished, the foundation and walls stood on the home that serves as a second residence and storage to the home owner, but the damage inside is extensive.
Preliminary indications are the fire might have started because a space heater was too close to a couch. When Boatman hustled over to the home before 5:30 am, flames had spread through the front room and spread through the home’s attic.
On social media, Boatman said, “Check your smoke detectors. It probably saved this lady’s life. Also, she did not have a fire extinguisher. It started as a small fire from an electric space heater that may have been easy to put out early with an extinguisher. GET A FIRE EXTINGUISHER, know where it’s at, and know how to use it.”
Boatman was treated for possible smoke inhalation on the scene, his wife reported, but he insisted he felt fine. The home owner and two dogs were uninjured, but a third dog perished. County records show the home, in disrepair compared to the rest of the neighborhood, was valued at approximately $400,000.
Many neighbors stayed for hours to help the homeowner long after the smoke had dissipated and the fire trucks left. They helped tend to insurance, deal with cleanup vendors who appeared, and address other paperwork and logistic issues, including getting a new key for the homeowner’s vehicle. The vehicle was not damaged in the fire, but its key burned up inside the house.
“We were raised to help. It doesn’t even cross our minds not to help,” said Lisa Boatman.