“The wooden top over the garage was on fire and there was so much smoke you couldn’t see the front doors or windows,” Meiser said. “It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
While they waited for the fire department, Meiser said she felt helpless because they could do nothing more at that point.
Meiser said the girl would often come over to play with her children and other children in the neighborhood.
“This is a pretty small neighborhood. We all have kids and they would all play together,” she said. “They were just a normal, little family.”
As other neighbors walked by later in the evening, they slowed down, taking in the scene of the remaining blackened structure.
“I never thought it would be like this,” said Josephine Chacon, who lives behind the house.
Chacon said her dogs woke her up barking around 3:30 a.m. because of the sirens, but she didn’t know the house behind her was on fire.
Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire. It took about 20 firefighters 40 minutes to contain the blaze. Preliminary damage estimates the home and its contents to be $135,000.
Bailey said the home had a smoke detector, but it had no batteries.
“We preach that all the time to have working smoke detectors that have batteries,” he said. Smoke detectors should be replaced if they are 10 years old or older, even if they still beep when they are checked.
These are the first fire deaths to occur in Norman this year. Norman had three fire deaths in 2012.