Shawnee, OK – Fifth floor apartment fire put out with help from sprinkler system

An overnight emergency shelter was being set up late Friday night for half of the residents who live at Shawnee Towers at 1130 E. Independence, where a fifth floor fire was reported Friday evening.

What began as a fire alarm and evacuation of residents turned into more for those living on the north end, where water from the sprinkler system impacted every unit on that end of the complex.

One resident, who was outside waiting with her dog, Charlie, said she quickly evacuated and didn’t see any smoke until she was outside.

“When the alarm went off, I grabbed my phone, my wallet and my dog,” she said.

Whiles crews had the fire out quickly in that fifth floor unit, it was the water from the sprinkler system that prompted the decision to evacuate residents overnight.

Deputy Shawnee Fire Chief Andy Starkey said they were going to have to evacuate the entire north end “due to electrical hazards because of the water.”

Starkey, who said they were calling in the Red Cross to assist in getting that shelter set up for residents late Friday night, said they expected the overnight evacuation to involve 40 to 50 residents.

Residents on the south end were not impacted by the fire.

Cause of the fire was still undetermined late Friday night, he added.

The complex is part of the Shawnee Housing Authority.

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