Firefighter Shot During Fire
By Michael Kimball
MUSKOGEE — A firefighter battling a house fire late Friday was shot by a gun that discharged due to the blaze’s extreme heat.
The victim, whose identity was not released, was taken to a Tulsa hospital, where he was treated for a wound to his left thigh and released, said Muskogee Fire Chief Derek Tatum.
About 11:20 p.m. Friday, firefighters responded to the fire at 220 S 38. The wounded firefighter was approaching a water pump when the gun discharged and shot him, Tatum said. It was one of several guns at the home.
The fire started because of combustibles stored too close to an open-faced heater. Tatum described the fire and the gun discharge as accidental and said the owner of the home was not acting in a criminal or negligent manner.
Gun owners can prevent a similar accident by properly unloading guns before storage.
“Ammunition in storage, in a box or sitting on a shelf ... will go off (in a fire), but the energy from that ammunition will be dispersed 360 degrees,” Tatum said.