Creek County wildfire under control, fire risk remains very high

CREEK COUNTY, Okla. - At least 70 structures and 58,000 acres of land have burned since the fires started in Creek County Thursday.

While downed power poles and low-hanging lines remain, dozens of residents were allowed to return to their homes in Monday only to learn that they were destroyed by the flames.    

Three generations of the Hall family called a small stretch 36th Street South outside of Mannford home.  That was until Saturday when wildfires ripped through this rural neighborhood and destroyed all four homes where the family members lived.

"My mother who lives up the road, called me and I needed to get around and get what I could and just be ready because the fire was coming from the west," said Mannford Police Dispatcher John Hall.

Hall was on duty when the flames took his home Saturday.

"The chief came in and let me know that my home was lost," said Hall. "But I knew there was nothing I could do there. So I decided to stay at work where I was needed."

John isn't the only one whose home was lost in his neighborhood, or even within his family.

"My aunt lives just to the west of me. My cousin and her family were right next to her in that mobile home. And my parents live a couple of blocks to the West," said Hall. "All the houses were lost."

Four homes belonging to John's family were reduced to ashes.

On Monday, family members and friends converged on the rubble to look for a few small keepsakes that were sparred from the fire. The family says these small items in the rubble mean the world to them.

John's mother, Carolyn Hall said, "We just figured we would grab a couple of changes of clothes and our important papers and that we would be back this evening. But it didn't work out that way."

Now this family is rolling up their sleeves to pick up the pieces and to give thanks that they are safe.

"I feel blessed because everyone is OK," said Carolyn. "This is just stuff. It can be replaced."

Members of the Hall family plan to stay with loved ones as they rebuild their homes in the same location.

Donors can take supplies to local fire departments or several other business that are accepting donations .

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