PONTOTOC COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - A space heater is to blame in a fire that left a father and his son with a mental disability dead Sunday night in Pontotoc County.
Neighbors, like Bryan Wanko, said the emotions are raw after a fire killed the father and son on County Road 3535 in Latta, just south of Ada.
"Just, good people," Wanko said. "Just good people. It's unfortunate what happened here last night."
Authorities said the victims are believed to be 74-year-old Ronnie Trout and his son, 40-year-old Robert Alan Trout.
Wanko said he has lived next door for eight years and heard a noise outside around 11:30 p.m.
"Fully engulfed, flames shooting through the roof," Wanko said.
Wanko said he did not see Robert or Ronnie outside the house.
He and two other neighbors ran up to the house and saw Ronnie laying near the front door, unconscious.
They pulled him out of the house and began CPR.
"The smoke was so bad coming out of the house that there was no second trip in," Wanko said.
Ada firefighters and Mercy paramedics arrived a few minutes later and got Robert out of the house who was also unconscious.
Both were taken to Mercy hospital in Ada where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
Fire chief Rob Johnson said a space heater plugged into a power strip too close to a bed is what started the blaze.
"A lot of times what we find is we'll find clothing or furniture that's right up against them and it is just a matter of time until you have an issue," Johnson said.
Wanko said it is hard to see the good but he and other neighbors say it was likely for the best they died together.
"Ron wouldn't have been good without having Alan and Alan certainly wouldn't have been able to live on his own," Wanko said.
The Pontotoc County sheriff's office said both of the victims bodies were taken to the medical examiner's office to determine the official cause of death.