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Candle apparently caused Halloween apartment fire

An unattended candle left burning in a second-floor unit of Houston House Apartments may have caused a fire that led to evacuation of 54 residents of the northeast Spokane complex.

Spokane Fire Department investigators said today that the pattern of burn marks inside the bedroom where the fire started matches other information gathered from tenants of the complex.

The candle may have been lit as early as Saturday night, hours before the fire was called in about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Tenants had left the apartment, but a dog still inside the dwelling may have knocked the candle off a book shelf, igniting bedding next to it, said Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer.

No one was injured in the three-alarm fire at the three-story complex that holds 30 units.

Red Cross in Spokane was helping tenants find new housing and obtain emergency food, clothing and household goods.

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