BIXBY, Okla. — A Bixby family says they're grateful to have escaped a fire that nearly destroyed their home near 123rd and Memorial on Friday.
"What matters is that we still have each other and that we're all safe," homeowner, Caitlin Ashley said.
The Ashley family is breathing a sigh of relief after a fire that started in a closet significantly damaged their home.
"It's very fortunate that they made it out, with the size of the house it had probably been burning approximately 15 minutes before we got on scene," Marc Kutz, Deputy Chief for Bixby Fire Department said.
"One of the neighbors said that there were flames coming out of both sides of the back of the house. I know that part of the roof and the kitchen ceiling collapsed," Ashley said.
Ashley is a single mother of two children with special needs and a caregiver to her father who is wheelchair-bound and just had shoulder surgery. She was at work when her neighbor called her to let her know her home was on fire. She said her father and two children were inside when it started.
"My dad had smelled smoke and he had the kids help him find it and they found a fire in the closet that was already six feet high in flames, so my daughter had actually grabbed a fire extinguisher already, but it was too high and it was growing," Ashley said.
She said when her kids realized the flames were quickly spreading, they ran to their next-door neighbors to ask for help.
"They were able to tell them that the house was on fir and that they needed them to call 9-1-1," Ashley said.
While not all their belongings burned, Ashley said water damaged much of it.
"The fireman said that a lot of stuff didn't burn, there's some stuff that's still there but everything is wet, they said it's like four to five inches of water," Ashley said.
Bixby's fire chief said the home is uninhabitable and they are still investigating the cause of the fire. The family said their cats are still missing. Ashley said her insurance is working on getting them some temporary housing. Her family has created this GoFundMe page.
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