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Fire displaces two families

A cooking fire at a northeast Spokane duplex has displaced two families.

The blaze that damaged the upper and lower units was determined to be accidental, fire officials said. The damage is estimated at $20,000. No one was hurt.

It was just after midnight when reports of light smoke coming from the home at 1218 E. Queen Ave. were reported to fire crews, officials said. The family living in the downstairs apartment had apparently been cooking on the stove top.

When the pan caught on fire, the residents tried to use a blanket to extinguish it, said Mike Inman, Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief. The blanket caused the fire to spread, destroying the kitchen area. Smoke damaged both units of the duplex.

The American Red Cross is assisting one family, which includes three adults, with temporary housing.

The other family with two adults and a 4-year-old was able to find another place to stay, a Red Cross spokeswoman said this morning.

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