Massive fire burns empty apartment complex in Oklahoma City

Crews are battling a massive fire that ripped through an apartment complex under construction in northwest Oklahoma City

ByThe Associated Press
February 09, 2022, 1:56 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A massive fire ripped through an empty five-story apartment complex in northwest Oklahoma City that was under construction, fire officials said.

There were no injuries reported in the blaze late Tuesday at the construction site, which prompted a “five-alarm response” with more than 80 firefighters on the scene, said Oklahoma City Fire Department Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson.

“There was fire on the roof when we got here," Fulkerson said. “The roofing material involved was kind of a rubbery material that does not go out easily with water once it’s on fire. It was just melting and pooling and continued to burn and it just spread very quickly across the rooftop of this large building."

Fire crews took up defensive positions and continued to douse hot spots Wednesday afternoon, said Fire Department Capt. Scott Douglas.

“With the instability of the structure, we're keeping everybody outside of the building," Douglas said. “There's a lot of little hidden pockets of fire that we can't access."

Douglas said the 325-unit, 400,000-square-foot apartment complex was valued at $65 million and is considered a “total loss." The complex was scheduled to open in the spring.

Douglas said a hotel under construction adjacent to the apartment complex was not damaged. The massive construction site in northwest Oklahoma City is across the street from the Chesapeake Energy Corp. headquarters and near a Torchy's Tacos restaurant.

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This story has been corrected to show that a hotel adjacent to the complex and was not damaged in the fire.

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