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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