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Community steps in to help Tulsa apartment arson victims

Cobblestone Apartments fire
Posted at 3:33 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 19:32:18-05

TULSA, Okla. — 2 News is hearing from a family who narrowly escaped after a fire broke out at their apartment complex. Nearly 50 people were impacted by the fire at the Cobblestone Apartments on 51st Street between Sheridan and Memorial.

The fire damaged 24 units here at the Cobblestone apartments. One of those was home to Ricky Moreno who was asleep when the fire started.

MORE >>> One arrested, arson investigation underway at midtown Tulsa apartment

"It woke me up out of a dead sleep and my eight-month-old baby was sleeping next to me, and my mother just came into town to meet her grandbaby yesterday," Moreno said.

"So, knowing that she's asleep in the second bedroom, and my little son Jaden is sleeping in the living room that I’m just glad that I was able to get them out safely, one by one. It was just a horrific moment. I wasn't even thinking about the stuff."

Apartment manager Meredith Clampett said she could see the smoke and fire for miles.

"When I got here, I could see when I was on highway 169 taking the exit, I could see the smoke from the fire, so I knew it was bad," Clampett said.

All the residents were able to get out safely but only with their lives.

"You can be mad, I mean sad, I mean watching everybody cry but as a father, you have to be the one to put the first foot forward and they're going to follow your footsteps and how you react," Moreno said.

"It's a tough pill to swallow but I know that I'll work hard and do whatever it takes to get my family back to where we were and even further than where we were," he said.

Despite the tragedy, the community is rallying behind these families and doing what they can to make this nightmare more bearable.

The Red Cross gave the residents $500 vouchers and the apartment's management company matched that. Banc First, which is across the street from the complex, gave each resident $200. And Common Ground Church donated clothes, shoes and other supplies.

Several families have babies and children so if you want to donate anything to help them, you can drop it off at the apartment offices.

Fire investigators arrested Shawn Michael Carnahan on two counts of First Degree Arson and Endangering Lives. They said he set fire in two locations at the complex.

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