NewsChannel 6 sat down with firefighter Dwight Murphy, the man severely burned in an arson fire nearly five years ago. He says today was tough, especially because he's tried so hard to put those memories behind him. Even more difficult, Kyle Harmon, the man who admitted to lighting that blaze, was a friend.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005, a day that changed firefighter Dwight Murphy's life forever, flames tore through an area in northeastern Wichita County. Firefighters from departments across Texoma, including Cameron Gardens, were on the scene trying to tackle the vicious flames. But, the fire charred 2000 acres, and while battling the front lines, Murphy himself became a victim, with burns to nearly 25% of his body.
Now nearly 5 years later,still bearing the scars from that day, Murphy says this day might be just as memorable as the one that nearly took his life. Murphy told us, "It's kind of hard to imagine a fellow firefighter would do that." Not just a fellow fire fighter though, Murphy says he's known Kyle Harmon since Kyle was just a young boy. In fact it was Kyle's dad, Chief Richard Harmon who got him started in the service.
In 2006, when Murphy was finally able to return home from the hospital, Chief Harmon said, "We're all back. One big family. We'll keep him going."
Murphy says he holds no ill will toward Kyle Harmon, but forgiveness is something that will take time. "It'll be awful hard to say all is forgiven and forgotten, but I'll get there someday."
After months of rehabilitation and surgeries, Murphy joined the Frieberg-Cooper Volunteer Fire Department in 2007. He says conquering his fears was something he just had to do and helping others is a passion.
Murphy says he didn't know the Sheriff's Office was still pursuing the arson investigation, and though he's happy it's over, finding out Kyle was behind the blaze that left him disfigured isn't the closure he wanted, saying, "I wish they had caught anyone but Kyle." Still, he says he will get back on the fire truck. "When you get that one, you realize it, you know that you make a difference."
Murphy says he wants to remind everyone how hard volunteer firefighters work and he hopes this doesn't reflect poorly on them. He also says he wants to thank Sheriff Duke for working so hard to find the person responsible for this tragedy.