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Apartment unit gutted in early-morning fire

A family of five is being helped by the Red Cross today after an early-morning fire gutted their apartment unit on East Mission Avenue in Spokane.

The Red Cross is providing food and clothing to the family of two adults and three young children, according to the organization’s Pat Kondas.

The Spokane Fire Department responded at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday to a report of a fire at the River Ridge Apartments, 1608 E. Mission Ave., according to a news release. Fire crews found “heavy smoke and fire enveloping the second floor” of the two-story building, but knocked down the fire in 20 minutes, the release said.

The second-floor unit housing the family was destroyed, and total damage to the building was estimated at $100,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kondas said the family, which includes a 3-month-old baby, a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, is staying in another unit at the apartment building.