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Spokane woman escapes apartment fire

A north Spokane woman escaped her burning apartment without injury this morning in a blaze that caused substantial damage to her unit and sent smoke into adjoining apartments.

Cheryl Bratton said she was OK, but she was too shook up to talk about what happened at her apartment, 1824 W. Maxwell Ave., at 6:30 a.m.

Firefighters in 12 units responded to the blaze after it was spotted by residents living in the complex, made up of two buildings with three apartments in each.

The fire started on the west side of Bratton’s apartment, but firefighters were able to contain the flames to her unit.

“We don’t know what caused the fire yet,” Battalion Chief Larry Mummey said.

He said it was not initially clear whether the fire started inside or outside the building.

Fire investigators were on the scene this morning trying to pinpoint the origin of the fire and a cause.

Tom Mason, who lives in the second building at the complex, said he was awakened by his cat making noise. “I got up and looked outside and all of a sudden there were flames,” he said.

He said he rushed to put on clothes and went outside. “We don’t know what happened,” Mason said.

The American Red Cross was called to the scene to help Bratton with emergency housing, clothing and other supplies. A man living in the adjoining unit also was receiving assistance, the Red Cross said.