Medford, Oklahoma (KFOR) – An Explosion at the OneOk gas plant in Medford Many residents were forced to leave their homes.
Hundreds of Medford residents were evacuated from their homes on Saturday afternoon and many were placed in hotels in Enid, all hosted by OneOk.
Since then, demand has been lifted and residents are free to go home, but OneOk has extended the option for people to stay in case people want to stay another night.
“I believe they have banned (hotel rooms) from leaving the hotel until Wednesday evening at this point,” said Medford Police Chief James Shepherd.
One family told News 4, OneOk helps in many ways.
“We will be staying tonight and we stayed last night in Blackwell. But OneOk actually told us they would be reimbursing us for Blackwell as well. So if you call them they might be able to help you as well,” said Trisha Daniel, a Medford evacuee.
To clarify potential assistance to people displaced by the eviction order, OneOk’s media officer told News 4, “I believe the City of Medford is asking people displaced by eviction to contact them and put them on a list. ONEOK is currently working and will continue to work directly with the community and many local agencies to provide various forms of assistance In the coming days to help the displaced due to the evacuation.”
The evacuation area was narrowed down to a radius of one mile around the plant.
US Highway 81 will remain closed at Pond Creek and at the intersection of State Highway 11 and US Highway 81.
A family staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Enid tells us that when the explosion occurred, they seized what they could and left their home within an hour of the eviction.
“It’s a scary situation because we have gas in our house, and so it’s definitely a scary situation… I didn’t know what to think about it,” said Terrence Abraham, a Medford evacuee.
His daughter Charisma Combs saw the explosion happen.
“My friend and I, we were in her mother’s car. We were driving to go to Enid and whenever we were headed there, it exploded,” said Charisma Combs, Abraham’s daughter and a Medford resident.
Charisma Combs said that scared her “a lot”.
Terrance Abraham tells us they weren’t accommodated for food other than the hotel’s included breakfast, but they’re not upset with OneOk.
“It could happen anywhere, you know, anything could happen at any moment. So, it’s just one of those things that when you live near you, you just have to kind of expect it… It just got kind of messy for a minute. “But they did, you know, their best to be able to keep everyone calm and give everyone a choice of what they could and could do,” Abraham said.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but crews are still at the scene.
“It’s up to the departments of Medford, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Miller EMS, OneOk’s Fire Barrage and their incident management team,” Shepherd said.
If you need a place to stay tonight or if you’re an affected resident and need more information about where you’re going tonight, you can contact Micah Barr with OneOK at 405-269-6991.