Firefighters return to duty after Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences fire

TULSA - Two firefighters injured in the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences fire returned to work Tuesday.

Tulsa firefighter Alec Ridener and Rashim "Petey" Revels were two of eight crew members to suffer from serious burns in the school's burning earlier this month.

"I'm just kind of ready to get back in the groove," Revels said. "I want to put this behind us."

Revels, who obtained second-degree and compression burns, says it feels good to be back at his second home, Fire Station 7 in midtown Tulsa.

But even a return to normalcy doesn't erase the impact the fire has had on Revels and Ridener.

"It was perfect storm, and we didn't realize it," Revels said. "Conditions were prefect and it happened just like that."

View pictures from the scene at http://bit.ly/ThWi2Q .

"I'm pretty sure it was the explosion that actually burned us," Ridener said.

Ridener recalls being in the hallway with the crew when the explosions happened.

He says all the fighters were engulfed by flames.

Despite their injuries, the men managed to crawl of the building by following the fire hose to the door.

Revels says looking back on what happened, he believes training, skill, instinct and divine intervention are the reasons he and his fellow firefighters not only survived, but will all eventually return to work.

"It definitely could have been worse from what happened," Revels said. "We are not supposed to be here to be honest with you. But by the grace of God, we were able to get out. I would like to say blessed we were being watched over that night."

Ridener says it's time to try and put the memories of what happened inside TSAS behind him and get back to normal.

The other six fire fighters are still recovering. So far there's no word on how soon they will return to work.

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