Three rescued from inferno fire in Midtown after seeing warmth in abadoned building

Posted at 7:51 AM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 23:23:32-05

TULSA - Saturday morning Tulsa firefighters rescued three people from a 20-thousand square foot building engulfed in flames. 

:"This is an old dilapidated building so it made it extra tough on our firefighters," said Tulsa Fire Captain Jose Ariza. 

Firefighters say the building was abandoned, where homeless people are known to gather for shelter when it's cold. It's something Salvation Army of Tulsa Area Commander Ken Chapman says is common for Tulsa. 

"They bring in barrels or little crates to try to burn and pallets to break up and burn that to try to keep them warm," said Cpt. Chapman. 

65 firefighters battled the flames, but officials say the conditions of the building of the building made the blaze difficult to fight for first responders. 

"Several of the brick walls fell a lot of the ceiling has fallen, so due to those type of conditions we pulled our crews out," said Ariza. 

Chapman said homelessness is a bigger issue in Tulsa than many people realize. He said he wishes the abandoned buildings in Tulsa could be turned into something resourceful for the homeless, to help them seek shelter in safer places. 

"With all the abandoned buildings lets try to turn them into social enterprises where we're gonna start little businesses that can help people from homelessness of the street into self sustainability." said Chapman. 

EMSA says 2 of the rescued victims were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Officials say the third victim is expected to be OK. 

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