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Early morning fires displace residents

Fri., Dec. 31, 2010, 3:57 p.m.

Fires early this morning in Spokane Valley and Hillyard displaced five residents, including a child, and killed a dog.

A tenant at 225 S. Adams Road in Spokane Valley fell asleep while smoking and started a mattress fire around 3:37 a.m., a Spokane Valley Fire Department news release said. Searching the apartment, firefighters found a dog dead from smoke inhalation.

A resident told firefighters he awoke to flames in his bedroom after hearing the smoke detector go off. He used a fire extinguisher but couldn’t put the fire out, the release said.

The two apartment residents are staying with family. One tenant cut his hands breaking the glass to get the fire extinguisher but was treated on scene.

The other fire began around 7:30 a.m. in the basement of a one-story, wood-framed duplex at 2933 E. Central Ave., a Spokane Fire Department news release said.

One resident was taken to a local hospital by a neighbor after suffering a cut on the hand, the release said. The duplex was home to five residents, including one child, but two residents were able to return to their apartment later in the day, said Brian Schaeffer, assistant chief with Spokane Fire Department.

The other couple and their 4-year-old daughter were staying with relatives while the Red Cross provided food, clothing and a referral to Spokane Housing Authority to help them find another apartment, said Pat Kondas, a Red Cross public affairs volunteer.

The fire was caused by a portable baseboard heater, Schaeffer said. Fire damage was confined to the basement with smoke damage throughout the building.

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