By Andy Rieger
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman firefighters were busy with three house fires early Monday, including one that destroyed a large, vacant home and threatened an apartment complex on the city’s Southeast side.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries in one of the fires but was treated at the scene. There were no other injuries reported.
The large home at 3010 Cedar Lane, just east of 24th Avenue Southeast, and formerly occupied by longtime area rancher Hattie June Smith, was totally engulfed when firefighters arrived shortly after 9 a.m.
Crews quickly took a defensive position and kept the fire from spreading to the apartments and golf course to the west and to a south pasture immediately behind the house.
Deputy Chief Jim Bailey said the 2,900 square foot home was destroyed. He estimated the damage was $100,000. About three acres of grassland also burned. Eighteen firefighters were dispatched to the fire. Additionally, Slaughterville and Noble fire departments were alerted to help in case the fire got out of control.
Earlier in the day, crews responded to a 6:10 a.m. fire at a south Norman duplex. The home at 2812 and 2814 Shoreridge sustained $250,000 damage, Bailey said. Twenty one firefighters responded to the fire which officials blamed on an unattended chiminea.
Six residents were displaced from the fire and the Red Cross is currently assisting them.
Bailey said when firefighters arrived the occupants were outside the apartments. The roof on both sides was on fire and firefighters attempted to enter the structure. When the roof started to collapse firefighters withdrew and fought the blaze from the exterior, Bailey said.
Later Monday, Norman crews responded to a house fire at 3:29 p.m. at 332 Garrison Drive.
“They went inside the house and just like the other one the roof began to collapse and they pulled out,” Bailey said.
He did not have a dollar estimate but said the home is not a total loss but much of the contents were damaged. About 20 firefighters and four engines responded to that blaze.
Also Monday, Norman firefighters and those from surrounding communities battled some small grass fires. Additionally, several small grass fires in the I-35 median were extinguished.
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