Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 11, 2013

Battling blazes

Red Cross urges fire safety as winter approaches

TAHLEQUAH — In July and August, the Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross assisted three Cherokee County families in the wake of house fires.

Between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, the EORC office in Muskogee helped 25 families in Cherokee County – and a total of 117 in its three-county area – recover from residence fires.

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12. With colder months approaching, Ryan Hardaway, director for EORC, wants families to be aware of potential dangers as they light their furnaces and fireplaces, and make use of space heaters.

“The No. 1 start of house fires is in the kitchen with the cooking of food,” Hardaway said. “Other frequent causes are old electrical wires or smoking in bed. But winter means many fires will be caused by space heaters, or people not checking their furnaces and chimneys.”

To reduce the chances of fire, the American Red Cross suggests professional furnace and fireplace inspections every fall.

In some homes space heaters are a necessity, but they must never be left unattended. The Red Cross says such heaters should be placed on a hard non-flammable surface, and placed a minimum of three feet away from “anything and anyone, including pets.”

Equally important to prevention is preparation in the event of a house fire.

“Make sure the family has an escape plan,” Hardaway said. “There should be an established meeting place where it can be determined everyone is safe. Don’t go back inside for stuff. Everyone will want to save something from the fire, but nothing is worth risking lives.”

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor double the occupants’ chances of surviving a fire, and 65 percent of all fire deaths occur in a home without detectors. Batteries should be replaced each year.

Another important preparation is insurance, Hardaway said. If living in a home without a lien or renting, it can be a temptation not to carry coverage.

“I am actually surprised by the number of people who don’t have homeowner insurance,” Hardaway said. “Of the people we’ve helped in the last year, 70 percent had zero insurance. It is important to cover your home even if it is paid for. If you rent or don’t make much money, try getting a little policy. Renters coverage of $20,000 or $25,000 will replace a lot of stuff.”

The Red Cross can also offer help. Hardaway said those in Cherokee, Muskogee and Adair counties who are affected by house fires should call the EORC at (918) 682-1366.

“We can assist a family of four with between $800 and $1,000 worth of assistance,” he said.

Hardaway said safety is most adversely affected by complacency, and urged people to assess their homes carefully.

“Everybody says ‘it won’t happen to me,’” he said. “Those we assist are proof that it will happen to somebody, so people should take steps to prevent house fires and be prepared in case it does happen.”

More information is available online at redcross.org/prepare/disaster/home-fire. The site has links to fact sheets on fire safety, escape planning, home heating fires, cooking fires and smoke alarms.


Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case