A fire believed to have started on an outside deck damaged a northeast Spokane duplex early this morning, leaving at least one family homeless.
Firefighters were called to the duplex at 1506 E. Desmet Ave., about 4 a.m. for the report of a structure fire.
When crews arrived heavy smoke was billowing from the roof and eaves of the home, said Spokane Fire Department officials.
Residents, who were home at the time of the fire, evacuated before crews arrived, fire officials said.
It took firefighters about 20 minutes to extinguish the fire, and another two hours to mop it up. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but the fire appears to have started on an attached deck and moved up an exterior wall of the duplex, officials said. The blaze caused an estimated $40,000 in damage.
The residents of the fire-damaged unit of the duplex were planning to stay with relatives. The other unit was not damaged and residents were able to reoccupy it, officials said.