CATOOSA, Okla. - Friends and family of six survivors of an overnight fire are cleaning up ashes and debris where a Catoosa home once stood.
The blaze began around 8:30 Tuesday night and was reduced to a smolder around 3 a.m., said Catoosa fire chief Denus Benton.
"Everybody was in their pajamas," said Valorey Totten, a family friend. "They were standing out here in their pajamas and bare feet trying to put the fire out."
About 30 firefighters from Catoosa and neighboring towns joined to put out the flames, Benton said.
Tragedy nearly struck when a sudden back draft brought part of the trailer's ceiling on top of three firefighters, all of which managed to get out unharmed.
"When [the firefighters] stepped out of the house, they were solid black and their bunker gear was just smoking," Benton said.
"It was an inferno," he said. "An absolute inferno."
Two of the fire victims had been living in the trailer, located in the 20000 block of East 33rd Place, for around 50 years.
Among the six to escape was a 4-year-old child, Benton said.
The victims have been put up in a local hotel and have been provided a clothing voucher, courtesy of the Red Cross.
Authorities have not said what caused the fire.
Totten believes the family will re-build on the property.
They'll rebuild right here. No doubt about it," she said. "Very resilient people."
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