A north Spokane woman escaped her burning apartment without injury Tuesday morning in a blaze that caused substantial damage to her unit and sent smoke billowing into adjoining apartments.
Cheryl Bratton said she was OK but too shaken to talk about what happened at her apartment, located at 1824 W. Maxwell Ave., at 6:30 a.m.
Firefighters 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 and part of the building’s exterior. Battalion Chief Larry Mummey said it was initially unclear whether the fire started on the inside or the outside of the building. Lt. Jimmy Bowden, fire investigator, said that after several hours of investigation he had traced the origin of the fire to inside the apartment, but that it might be impossible to pinpoint the cause.
Extensive damage to the exterior of the apartment and adjoining cedar fence was caused by fire escaping from inside the dwelling, he said.
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.
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.