Investigators probing last week’s fatal fire in Barnsdall

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The Oklahoma Fire Marshal’s office is assisting with an investigation into the residential blaze that last week claimed the life of a 57-year-old Barnsdall woman, local officials said.

Ralinda Joyce Smith sustained extensive burns the length of her body in the Wednesday morning fire, according to the officials. The woman — who was known by the nickname “Petie” — died at a Tulsa hospital where she had been transported by air ambulance following her rescue from the burning house, according to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office.

Barnsdall Police Chief John Ferguson said the fire was reported shortly after 9:30 a.m. at a house in the 300 block of West School Aveue. The house is located in the town’s central northeast quadrant, approximately two blocks from the State Highway 11 convergence of Fifth and Main streets.

“Actual fire damage was contained to one room,” said the police chief. “But, there is extensive smoke and water damage throughout the house.”

A story by The Associated Press said neighbors reported hearing an explosion shortly before the fire was discovered. Neighbors said the victim’s hair and clothing were on fire when she was discovered but that she was conscious and talking as she was carried from the house, the AP story said.

Funeral services for Smith were held Monday afternoon at First Christian Church of Barnsdall, with burial following at Ethel Reece Cemetery. A memorial fund was established through American Heritage Bank facilities in Barnsdall, Pawhuska and Bartlesville. Arrangements were by Mowery Funeral Service of Owasso.

Smith was born in Pawhuska on Feb. 11, 1956, to C. J. and Phyllis (Selby) Pease. She grew up in Barnsdall and was a 1974 graduate of Barnsdall High School.

She married Bruce Smith on Oct. 26, 1974. Smith formerly was employed by Williams Companies and, more recently, was worked at Barnsdall Nursing Home and as a home health aide.

She is survived by a daughter, Holly, and son-in Garry Malone of Barnsdall. Other survivors include five grandchildren: Kyler and Kinnley Bloomfield, and Easton, Deacon and Cruz Malone; sister, Rhonda Pease McCauley and her husband, David, of Barnsdall; a niece, Brooke Smith, and her husband, Eliot; and a nephew, Dax McCauley, and his wife, Jaime.