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Investigators probe cause of apartment fire

THURSDAY, NOV. 11, 2010, 11:01 A.M.

Spokane fire investigators today were looking into the cause of an early-morning fire that gutted one apartment unit and caused damage in an adjacent apartment and exercise room.

Firefighters were called to the North Cliff Terrace Apartments, 840 W. Cora Ave., just after midnight and stopped the fire from spreading past a third-floor unit where it started.

Residents escaped without injury.

The apartment complex is made up of a series of buildings, and residents in the building where the fire occurred were evacuated during the early morning hours.

Paula Peterson, who lived two stories below the fire, said she awoke to see a glow of fire coming from outside her window.

“When I woke up it was fully engulfed, and there were pieces of roof falling off,” she said.

She was allowed to spend the rest of the morning in a nearby vacant unit, and then was allowed to return to her apartment by mid-morning.

Firefighters had spread tarps over her belongings to protect them from water damage.

“They actually saved all my stuff,” she said.

Charring was visible along a recessed balcony on the south side of the building in the unit where the fire started.

Renae Howard, another resident, said firefighters told her that a woman driving by spotted the flames and called for help. She said the passerby deserves a thank you for being alert.



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