MANNFORD, Okla. — Tyler Coffey went back to his burnt Mannford home late Monday night to find anything that might have survived a massive fire.
When he returned Tuesday afternoon, he saw the disaster in the daylight.
At 5:00 a.m. Monday morning, Tyler woke up to his alarm as he does every day. He was next to his wife Ashton and their 18-month-old-son, with Ashton expecting another baby boy in April.
Ashton smelled smoke. Tyler heard banging on the door. Suddenly, he saw smoke filling the room, and knew he needed to save his family.
Minutes later, it would have been too late. Tyler credits the person banging on the door with saving him and his family.
That person was his next-door neighbor, who had escaped her burning apartment. Her grandson was still inside; he didn't make it out. But Tyler says her act saved four lives.
"We didn't have time to think about it until last night and go over everything, but her banging on the door and me just having that little bit of extra time to get out, it saved us," Tyler said.
The family went to visit their hero Tuesday, who is still in the hospital recovering from breathing in the smoke.
The fire, which claimed the life of a 15-year-old boy, engulfed two condos. Mannford Fire officials say the fire started in the boy's condo, where friends say he lived with his grandmother.
The two condos were complete losses. Coffey says he woke up around 5:00 Monday morning to his smoke detector, and his wife Ashton smelling smoke. The two have an 18-month-old baby and another on the way.
"When I went downstairs to check everything out and get ready for work I hear banging on the door and immediately yell at Ashton to get clothes on her and the baby and get out, before I even answer the door," Coffey said in a Facebook post. "When I answer the door it's our elderly neighbor yelling theres a fire and to call 911. We walked out to this and all we got out was ourselves and our dog. I'm freaking out about EVERYTHING that was left behind."
Tyler says he, Ashton, and their baby all made it out safe, with just the clothes on their backs. Their baby only had on a diaper.
The family is now asking for help as they rebuild, because they did not have renters insurance. Their fundraiser raised more than $2,400 in two days, a promising start as they try to replace everything that was lost.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.