One person, dog reportedly perished in house fire

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Keri Thornton, Tahlequah Daily Press, Okla.
·1 min read
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Feb. 22—Fire officials confirmed one person and a dog died in a house fire Saturday night.

Tahlequah Fire Chief Casey Baker said a person driving on the Bertha Parker Bypass saw the flames coming from a house on North Vinita Avenue around 9:10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20.

According to the sheriff's report, Deputy Robert Stephens was dispatched to 2600 N. Vinita Ave. where firefighters were extinguishing the flames. First responders advised a man was dead inside the home.

Stephens looked through a Chevrolet truck that was parked at the house and found it to be registered to Benny Smith.

Stephens found medical paperwork that had Smith's phone number. The deputy called that number and it went straight to voicemail.

Firefighters advised they found an Oklahoma driver's license registered to Smith inside the residence.

The medical examiner was contacted and was told there were next of kin. She advised to contact the funeral home and get them on standby.

Baker said the blaze didn't look suspicious, but the cause is still under investigation.