Fire at Choctaw Coliseum under investigation

By: Mystic Matthews Email
By: Mystic Matthews Email

DURANT, Okla. -- Choctaw Nation officials say the stunt was not a planned part of Saturday night's monster truck show at the Choctaw Coliseum, but thousands of people were there, and the show that got out of hand was captured on home video.

A night of family fun went literally up in smoke after a stunt from a specialty 4-wheeler.

"At the end of the event, there was a malfunction. However that worked out, it was not part of the show. It was not planned to ignite the cars on fire at all," said Shawn Ives of SWI Productions

The sprinkler system did come on about five minutes after the fire began, but officials tell us most people had left the building.

Choctaw Nation officials wouldn't let us in the coliseum on Monday, claiming safety reasons. We're told the floor is still flooded from Saturday night when thousands were quickly moved out of the building.

“The plan was put into place when the fire was noticed. The building was evacuated in approximately six minutes. Luckily no one was seriously injured during evacuation," said Matt Gregory of the Choctow Nation Casino.

Fire officials say 35 people were treated for smoke inhalation and five were taken to the hospital.

"The staff at this building and the fire department and EMS in this area needs to be patted on the back. They did a first class job."

We talked to the driver of that four-wheeler that caused the fire, but he refused to comment except to say that he would talk to us after an investigation is complete.

From over the weekend...
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DURANT, Okla. -- Firefighters were called to the scene Saturday night after a fire inside Choctaw Coliseum. It happened during a monster truck rally just before 9 p.m.

Authorities say it started when a jet engine four-wheeler was performing tricks on the arena floor. Home video captured at the event shows the four-wheeler shooting flames from the back when nearby junk cars ignited. The cars were being used as props for the vent.

The entire arena quickly filled with smoke that rose to the venue's ceiling.

Crews at the Choctaw Coliseum evacuated the crowd of around 4,000 people. Authorities say everyone was safely moved outside within 5 to 6 minutes.

Several firefighters and security guards were treated for smoke inhalation, but no serious injuries have been reported.

Fire crews from across the area repsponded to the call.

Picture Courtesy of Tom Hankins.


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  • by Taylor Location: sherman on Nov 8, 2007 at 03:33 PM
    You know...I'm not really a fan of this type of stuff, but somehow I got dragged into monster truck rally fun. I recall saying on the way there that I had a bad feeling...guess I was right. By the way I love how since the show took forever to start they kept throwing frisbees into the crowd and everyone was going nuts, even the adults...they're plastic discs, and... I thought I was going to lose my mind sitting there waiting for the show to start while everyone and there redneck uncle had to get a ride on that monster truck. I would like to say that the motorcross was pretty cool and had that not happened before all the trucks broke down and the building caught on fire I might have started a riot. In closing, I remember watching the 4 wheeler guy back his jet engine up to the unstripped toxic materials inside those cars and i was dumbfounded...amazed, the person I came with was like "lets go" but I said no, let's stay, because I couldn't comprehend the illogic...surely not I thought.
  • by Grant Location: Florida on Oct 26, 2007 at 06:41 PM
    The guy with the jet powered atv is the biggest idiot I have ever seen. I own a jet powered ATV that does Monster Truck shows and you don't burn cars indoors. I designed and built my jet and I know how they work. This was no accident, the guy new what he was going to do. When I do indoor shows I always have a escape plan to get the jet out of the building in the event of a failure. It only take a few secounds to fill a building full of smoke. This guy DID NOT HAVE A FAILURE. Both the jet guy and the promotors are at fault on this. They should have stoped him when they seen him backing up to the cars. Any idiot could see what was going to happen next. These jet powered vehicles put on a great show when operated correctly.
  • by your mom Location: heaven on Oct 26, 2007 at 06:23 PM
    the fault is on the promoter. the jet powered 4 wheeler was hired by the promoter which in turn makes the promoter liable for the shows entirety. to place the fault on a hired hand is laughable. so if a landscape company employee messed up your shrubs you would go to the company. the cars should have been checked to make sure the interiors and anything else flammable were taken out. if all that was taken care of a metal car does not catch on fire and spew black smoke! such an intelligent group of previous posts.
  • by CLOSE Location: CHOCTAW on Oct 25, 2007 at 01:57 PM
    IT IS THE FAULT OF THE JET POWERED FOUR WHEELER OPERATOR. NOT THE HOSTING COLISEUM OR ANYOTHER PEOPLE INVOLVED. THE CRUSHED VEHICLES SHOULD HAVE BEEN THOUROUGHLY CHECKED FOR FLAMMABLES BEFORE THE SHOW. THIS WAS NOT DONE BY THE CREW OF THE JET FOUR WHEELER. THIS WAS THEIR RESPONSIBILTY. THE MONSTER TRUCK CREW ISNT RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT OR THE COLISEUM. THE MONSTER TRUCKS DON'T INTENTIONALLY SHOOT FLAMES AT VEHICLES. KNOWING THE STRICT SAFETY PROTOCOLS ETC OF THE COLISEUM AND THE CHOCTAW NATION THIS WOULDNT HAVE HAPPENED. THEY WOULDNT HAVE ALLOWED THE JET FOUR WHEELER OPERATOR TO MAKE THAT PART OF HIS SHOW. WHEN YOU PUT YOURSELF IN PUBLIC SITUATIONS YOU ASSUME SOME RISK. PEOPLE DID GET TO SEE MONSTER TRUCK AND DIRT BIKE ACTION WHICH TOTALLED ABOUT 45 MINUTES. THEREFORE 70% OF THE REFUND IS BETTER THAN NO REFUND. CONSIDERING THE LACK OF EVACUATION PREPAREDNESS FOR "ALL" PARTIES INVOLVED, IT WENT GREAT. MEDICAL BILLS AND REFUNDS SHOULD BE THE RESPONSIBILTY OF THE OPERATOR/COMPANY, NOT CHOCT
  • by greg Location: durant on Oct 25, 2007 at 09:54 AM
    Posted by: rg Location: denison RG....................GET IT RIGHT, YOU ARE REFERRING TO THE CHICKASAWS WHO MADE THE WOMAN MOVE!!!!!!NOT THE CHOCTAWS!!!! GET IT RIGHT THEN RUN THE FLAPPER
  • by Ray Location: Texas on Oct 24, 2007 at 05:29 PM
    The fire was intentional! I think those communist indians need to refund the complete 100% of the ticket price. Anyone that disagrees is as sorry as the people running Choctaw. I think we need to pickett outside the casino this weekend. I will never give the casino or any part of the place another dollar of mine. I will also never spend a dollar in Durant OK. I think everyone should email the Governer of OK at http://www.governor.state.ok.us/message.php and let him know how crooked these people are. I understand that it's pretty hard to sue the communist out there because they our protected by their race. The should be man enough to make things right.
  • by Jerry Location: Denison on Oct 24, 2007 at 09:46 AM
    Stop letting that guy plug his doberman, animal website!
  • by TRACY Location: SHERMAN on Oct 24, 2007 at 07:42 AM
    HEY I GO FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT FROM THE SLOTS TO THE SHOWS BUT IF YOU PEOPLE DONT LIKE IT DONT GO IF YOU DO LIKE IT GO BUT IF YOUR GOING AND GRIPPING ABOUT IT THATS LIKE SEEING A MAN COME OUT OF CHURCH AND GOING TO A BAR COME ON PEOPLE NO SINCE GRIPPING ABOUT IT DONT SUPPORT IT IF YOU CAN NOT STAND IT AND FOR FUN GO IF NEITHER THEN SIT AT HOME AND TURN THE CHANNEL EVERYTIME YOU SEE THE COMMERCIAL AND SHUT UP
  • by rg Location: denison on Oct 23, 2007 at 03:57 PM
    Just like the Choctow to take your money and offer a 70% refund. What type of greed is there. These heartless people have thrown a woman out on the street because her husband that was qualified to live in their housing passed away. This show's their character and I will on a daily basis of the hundreds of people that I tlak to will tell them of how these people act when all they want is your gambling dollars and greed. Their commercials on TV turn my stomach and I turn the channel as soon as I see one of heir lying self promotional ad's come on. There are many other ways to spend your money than giving it to this organization. Oh they use the state highways though to get to their cash cows.! Go figure.
  • by me Location: durant on Oct 23, 2007 at 11:49 AM
    I agree that it was done on purpose. The driver was backing up, making sure that the cars caught on fire while waving at the crowd. I know that the Choctaw's wanted to tear it down since it was Mike Bailey's pet project and put in another casino. Now it looks like they will get their wish!
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