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Local
Man badly burned in downtown Tulsa apartment fire
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Man badly burned in downtown Tulsa apartment fire

Man badly burned in downtown Tulsa apartment fire
Photo Credit: Russell Mills
Near 9th and Cheyenne

Man badly burned in downtown Tulsa apartment fire

A frantic mother alerted neighbors that her son's apartment was on fire Wednesday afternoon, and they kicked in the door to find the victim literally on fire.

Gary Wells, one of the neighbors, told KRMG at the scene that the scene which greeted his eyes when he got inside the burning apartment was not pretty.

I kicked the door in and I saw him sitting on the carpet, he was on the floor and it was burning around him, he was on fire...he was badly burned, he's severely burned," Wells said.

"I went in, got the man, and dragged him out...his flesh was on fire."

He said the man was probably in his early 20s, and he only knew him by his first name.

"He would come over to the apartment occasionally, borrow a cigarette, just have a little conversation, go back home. He was reclusive," Wells said.

Wells' roommate, Joseph Vanbuskirk, also helped pull the man from the burning apartment.

"He was sleeping, he was asleep and did not wake up until I got to him and got ahold of him," Vanbuskirk said, "so he was gone if we wouldn't have got in there. I'm pretty sure he was smoking a cigarette."

Vanbuskirk was a former fire investigator with the military.

He said the fire was largely confined to the area of the living room where the victim was found.

He estimated the man was burned on 90 percent of the body, and suffered 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns.

TFD has not released the name of the victim, who was transported in critical condition.

No official cause of the fire has been determined.

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