A former Guymon man was killed in an apartment fire in Oklahoma City on Friday.
Donald Wayne “Donnie” Bence, 45, was found by emergency responders at his home in southwest Oklahoma City at the Greystone Apartment complex, 4900 South Walker Avenue.
According to Bence’s family members, the fire was reported around 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 8.
And his untimely death has left his family with a lot of questions.
His son, Curtis Aaron Bence, of Guymon, said authorities in the OKC have told them the cause of the blaze is still “under investigation.” Curtis has been staying in contact with investigators since he got the call about his father and went to OKC the following day.
“They said the fire started in the bottom unit and spread to the top unit,” Curtis said. “My dad lived in the bottom unit.”
Authorities in OKC confirmed a body had been found once the flames had been extinguished; however, would not immediately confirm the identity of Bence and stated only that the “cause of the fire has not yet been determined.”
Bence’s sister, Annette Betterton, said her brother would have turned 46 years old this Friday.
“He was a painter and carpenter,” Betterton said. “It just happened that he did not go to work that day.”
Bence’s girlfriend, Twyla Adkisson, was at work when the fire happened.
“She was at work at 8:05 that day - she lost everything in the fire,” Betterton said.
Both Betterton and Bence’s son, Curtis, said Bence had two dogs.
“One of the dogs was able to get out, but one of them died in the fire,” Betterton said.
Authorities evacuated the building due to the heavy smoke and flames.
Three other families displaced by the fire were assisted by the American Red Cross who provided them with three nights lodging at a motel and money for food and clothing. Authorities reported an estimated dozen people who were receiving assistance.
Disaster mental health volunteers with the American Red Cross were at the scene of the fire to provide assistance as well.
Initial news reports coming from OKC stated that foul play had not as yet been ruled out in the fire.