The Caddo Herald
April 20, 1934
Ray Doan Dies in Fire at Durant Saturday
Roy (sic) Doan, 19-year-old student at Southeastern was burned to death in a rooming house fire in Durant at __ (blank) o’clock Saturday morning.
His brother, Dewey, teacher of Midway school south of Caddo, was badly burned and it is feared he may not survive, though at press time he was doing as well as could be expected.
The two were trapped in a second story room in which they lived, but Dewey was rescued after several attempts by firemen to enter had failed, as smoke had so filled the house it was impossible.
Fire of undetermined origin had broken out in the old frame Boston boarding house in Durant. This building was occupied as a rooming house and was one of the old landmarks of Durant.
Miss Juanita James suffered a severe knee fracture and a wrenched back when she fell out of a second story window.
The structure was a seething furnace when the firemen arrived.
Raymond Martin, a STC student last year, was sleeping in the same room with Ray and Dewey Doan, and though suffering from shock was able to tell of his experience.
“I smelled smoke and got out of bed and opened the door into the hall. Flames shot over me and in some way I made it to the stairs. I ws surrounded by flames and don’t know whether I walked, fell, or rolled down the stairs. I was walking on air and when I got down stairs I could not find the door and was about overcome by smoke and was getting scorched. I fell into a room and felt a window. I could see enough to see it was outside, so I knocked the window out with my fist and toppled outside into fresh air and got away.
Ray was awake and seems to have been trying to put on his shoes and get to the window. He was evidently preparing to jump out when he suddenly fell back onto the bed and was burned to death. I guess he was overcome by smoke.”
Note: The Doan brothers were from Idabel. Walter Ray is buried there. Dewey Ellis, who survived the fire, died in 1983 and is buried in Durant.