December 16, 2008 in City

House fires leave three families homeless

The Spokesman-Review

Three Spokane families are homeless after fire damaged their homes this morning and Monday.

A family and dog were burned out of its south Spokane home early this morning after an apparent problem with electrical wiring in the attic.

An adult at the home at 1031 E. 34th Ave. was awakened by the smoke about 4:15 a.m. and got the occupants out safely. A smoke detector in the house did not set off its alarm, firefighters said.

Damage was confined to the ceiling framework and electrical wiring, but firefighters had to remove ceiling material to get at the fire. Damage was estimated at $40,000, and firefighters said the house could not be occupied until repairs are made.

An investigation was expected to determine whether the wiring malfunctioned or was overloaded.

The Red Cross is helping a couple and their daughter after a space heater used to heat basement pipes sparked a blaze that ripped through their home Monday at 515 S. Sheridan St., according to the Spokane Fire Department.

It took crews about half an hour to control the fire, which was reported about 3:30 p.m.

Later Monday, burning incense ignited a fire that forced a family of four to flee their single-story home at 2503 W. Queen Ave.

The home suffered extensive heat and smoke damage as well as heavy fire damage in a basement bedroom where fire crews believe the blaze began, according to a news release. The fire was reported about 6:45 p.m.

Neighbors gave the family clothes and a place to stay.

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