May 25, 2009 in City

Blaze damages home in West Central

Neighborhood has been frequent arson target
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Jonathan Brunt photo

Spokane Fire Department crews work to ventilate the roof of a West Central home that caught fire Sunday. The fire started in an old couch in the alley and spread to the rental home at 809 N. Cannon St.
(Full-size photo)

A suspicious fire displaced two residents of a West Central Spokane home Sunday.

The neighborhood, which is northwest of downtown, has been plagued with arsons the past few years.

Firefighters were called to 809 N. Cannon St. about 4:30 p.m. The fire started in a couch that had recently been placed outside the home, said Spokane fire Battalion Chief Bob Green. Flames quickly spread to the residence, which sustained heavy damage at the back of the house.

Emily Brewster, a Spokane Community College student, said she and her fiancé, Joshua Porter, have rented the home since September 2007 and don’t have renter’s insurance.

“I was doing my homework and he was watching TV when some guy came and pounded on the windows” warning of the fire, Brewster said. “By the time we were out of the house, the police were here.”

Brewster said they had placed the couch outside two days ago in preparation for taking it to the dump.

In a news release, Battalion Chief Craig Cornelius reported that the fire was knocked down in 15 minutes. Crews left the scene after about 90 minutes.

From January through August 2007, the city reported 17 arsons in West Central, including four in one night. There were 14 arsons reported in the same period in 2006.

Last summer, a big fire caused significant damage to the Ugly Duck liquidation store in West Central. The owner said last year he suspected arson.

Green said the fire appeared suspicious, but the cause was under investigation.

County records say the home, which was built in 1901, is owned by Tamara L. Lane and valued at $86,700. Damage is estimated at $20,000.


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