A loud knock woke Steve Fields as he slept at his daughter’s home early Monday. The retired businessman opened his eyes to see an apartment full of black smoke.
Fields and his daughter’s dog, Bella, escaped. Two minutes later “the duplex went poof,” he said.
Fields was dog-sitting for his daughter, who was in Boise, he said. The Coeur d’Alene duplex at 2190 W. Fairway Drive was destroyed in the 3 a.m. fire, said Coeur d’Alene Deputy Chief Glenn Lauper. Everything inside the homes was a complete loss.
Daniel R. Keyes, 33, was arrested on an arson charge in connection with the fire, officials said.
“My kid lost everything because of some dude,” Fields said.
No one was injured in the fire, Lauper said.
Coeur d’Alene firefighters were called to the duplex at Appleway and West Fairway early Monday, Lauper said.
Shortly before crews arrived, a Coeur d’Alene Press employee, Johnny Williams, was headed home from work when he saw the flames, Lauper said. Williams pounded on both duplex doors to make sure everyone was out.
“We are extremely lucky there was not a fatality,” Lauper said. Fields and the dog got out just in time.
Williams then saw a man in the backyard dousing one of the duplex garages with a hose. The man with the hose, identified as Keyes, later became a person of interest. He showed up at the scene again about 6:30 a.m. and was arrested soon after.
Keyes was released from jail on Sunday. He had been involved in domestic abuse problems with a woman who lived at the duplex and was violating a protection order when he went to her home, said Christie Wood, Coeur d’Alene police spokeswoman. Keyes claims he started a fire in the fireplace for ambience, but it got out of control when he started throwing several of the woman’s belongings into it.