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Neighbors help woman escape fire in duplex

Neighbors in a cul-de-sac off East Marietta Avenue in Spokane Valley leaped to action as flames tore through half a duplex Friday evening.

No one was hurt and the people who live there weren’t in the home at 2708 N. Perrine, said Mary Holabach, who lives in the other half of the building.

“My granddaughter came running and screaming in the house, yelling ‘Grandma, there’s a fire, call 911,’ ” Holabach said.

Her granddaughter ran outside and two of her neighbors rushed in to help Holabach out of the house, she said.

“It was going under the eaves, it was scary,” said Holabach, watching from across the street as crews from Valley Fire Department doused a room that was still putting out smoke.

“It’s good that you’ve got neighbors like that, you know,” she said.

After making sure everyone was out of the duplex and rescuing Holabach’s cat, neighbors Jim O’Donnell and Adam Hergert grabbed a hose from across the street and tried to spray the fire. They couldn’t reach it.

“What caught my eye was the flames coming out the living room window,” said O’Donnell, who lives at the end of the cul-de-sac.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department received the call at 5:55 p.m., seven fire rigs responded to the fire, said Battalion Chief Stan Cooke. But there were hints of trouble more than two hours earlier, said Melissa Wallin, who lives next to the duplex.

“We started smelling a plastic smell about 3:30,” but couldn’t trace the source of it, Wallin said.

Wallin said her sister started smelling smoke about 5:30 p.m., looked out the window and saw smoke.

She ran outside and grabbed a hose, dousing their roof and the grass as the fire started to spread across the side yard, Wallin said.

“You could see sparks from stuff that was exploding,” Wallin said. She said she guessed it was from aerosol cans.



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