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Home > Topics > Fire-EMS
November 30, 2013

Two dead in Okla. Thanksgiving Day fire

At lest five space heaters were found in the home with one near where the fire started; a 35-year-old man and his 32-year-old girlfriend were found dead

By Kendrick Marshall and Jarrel Wade
The Tulsa World

TULSA, Okla. — Two people died in a mobile home fire early Thanksgiving Day.

Joshua Sykes, 35, and his girlfriend, Barbara Deutcher, 32, were found dead in the home after the blaze which was reported about 2 a.m., Oklahoma State Fire Marshal's Agent Terry Ferrel said.

Two other people, 58-year-old Danny Grossman -- Sykes' father -- and his wife, Wadina Grossman, 38, escaped the fire.

The Osage Hills Volunteer Fire Department was called first to the fire on 36th Street North east of 41st West Avenue but did not have a fire truck in operation, Ferrel said.

The Tulsa Fire Department then responded and had the blaze under control soon after arriving, he said.

The home was destroyed.

"It is really hard right now," Wadina Grossman said Thursday afternoon. "He (Sykes) left behind six kids."

Grossman said her husband was awakened by the fire and quickly urged everyone to get out of the house. The couple attempted to save Sykes and Deutcher, but heavy smoke filled the younger couple's room.

The investigators had not determined a cause of the fire by Thursday afternoon, but at least five space heaters were found in the home, with at least one near where the fire started, Ferrel said.

Grossman said a blanket that was left on a space heater in the bedroom where Sykes and Deutcher slept might have sparked the blaze.

The home had no smoke detectors, and "we can't stress enough how important smoke detectors are," Ferrel said.

Fire officials also said people who use space heaters to warm their residences should not leave combustible items near the units.

Grossman said Thursday's fire was the second time her family had seen its home go up in flames. Just two years ago, a home they owned in Nowata was gutted by fire.

They vowed to rebuild then, and they are vowing to do the same again.

"We will be rebuild here," Grossman said.

The Grossmans are temporarily staying with neighbors, they said.

___

(c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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