Authorities say a Latta father and son died Sunday in an overnight house fire caused by an overturned space heater.
Ronnie Lee Trout, 74, and his son, Robert Alan Trout, 40, were pronounced dead upon arrival at Mercy Hospital Ada after neighbors and firefighters pulled them out of a home engulfed in flames in the 15,800 block of County Road 3535 in the Latta community.
Witnesses told Pontotoc County Sheriff’s deputies they saw the flames as they were returning home. A neighbor called 911 to report the fire while her boyfriend went to see if he could help. Records indicate the neighbor’s boyfriend found Ronnie Trout on the ground just inside the front door of the burning home and dragged him outside near the mailbox. Trout was barely breathing and “trying to close his eyes,” according to reports filed with the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office. Robert Trout was found by firefighters “just inside the front room under the windows.”
Deputies say neighbors told them the Trout’s “did not have heat for the past couple of days and (they) did not know what they were doing to keep warm.” Deputies reported finding “numerous blankets” inside a vehicle registered to Ronnie Trout, parked in the driveway in front of the house.
Records indicate firefighters found an overturned space heater on a water bed, which they believe to be the preliminary cause of the fire. The Oklahoma State Fire Marshall has ruled the fire “accidental in nature.”