85-year-old man thankful to be alive after home destroyed by fire

TULSA -- An 85-year-old man is glad to be alive after a fire at his Jenks home on Wednesday night.

Willard Young said his granddaughter was frying fish that night when a grease fire broke out. Next thing he knew, his entire home was up in flames. 

“Just about to sleep and ‘boom boom boom’ on the door,” Young recalled. “’Get up’ and ‘boom boom.’ I jumped up and opened the door and my God the fire was just boiling and come from the cook stove.”

Young ran out without shoes on. He left all of his possessions behind. His main concern was his grandchildren.

“There were pieces flying everywhere,” Young said. “I don’t have no shoes on my feet. My feet come up burning, especially my heel.”

He went to the emergency room with minor injuries but said he is feeling better already.

It has been a tough year for Young. His son passed away in April and he lost his wife of 65 years in October. Now, he has lost his home.

His daughter, Terri Fenderson, said she had never seen her father in the state he was in Thursday.

But Friday, Young returned to work. He has owned Young’s Tire Shop for 50 years in north Tulsa.

He sat at his shop with a steady flow of calls and people stopping by to check on their friend. Young said some people gave him money, while others brought him food.

“It’s so nice to know people love you so much and do so much,” Young said. I never had a change of clothes. I had a man brought me three pair of overalls and a half dozen socks.”

Showing love and helping people in need is something Young has always tried to do.

Now the tables have turned.

His loved ones are glad he is still here to spend another Christmas with them.

“I am just glad that we are not planning a funeral, so I feel blessed,” Fenderson said.

Young is currently living with his daughter but is working to get back on his feet.

Click here to help Young get back on his feet. 

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