8 Dead in Oklahoma House Fire, Police Look at Murder Angle

A homicide investigation is underway after eight people were found dead in a house fire in Oklahoma. The incident, which took place on the 400 block of South Hickory Avenue, was reported around 4 p.m. Thursday.

Police in Broken Arrow called the home a "complex scene" and said an investigation has been launched.

Ethan Hutchins, police spokesperson, told the media at the scene that a family of eight – two adults and six children – lived in the home, however, there is no confirmation whether the family are victims.

The police are trying to determine who succumbed in the fire. Hutchins described the incident as tragic and unusual for Broken Arrow, a city of around 113,000 southeast of Tulsa.

Authorities added that it was a large fire with "a lot of moving parts."

house fire

Witness Accounts

Catelin Powers, a witness, revealed that she saw a column of smoke near the house while she was driving with her family. When she got closer to the house, she saw smoke pouring out from the top of the house, which may have been the attic. Powers added that she saw two men and a woman outside the house, a third man appeared to be carrying an unconscious young adult woman out of the building. She said she stay around and drove away as she did not want to traumatize her children.

Investigations Underway

Hutchins said the police are looking into what happened to the victims, with preliminary reports indicating that the incident would be a homicide investigation. "When officers arrived, they found multiple fatalities in this house," he said. "As of now, we are still investigating exactly what happened." Hutchins added that Broken Arrow is a very safe city and homicides don't happen here normally. "This is the first homicide incident in Broken Arrow this year."

The officer outlined that police would be canvassing the area, talking to neighbours and looking for possible clues. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation, with special agents, task force officers and an accelerant detection dog from ATF's Dallas field division.