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Early morning duplex fire displaces two families

Two families escaped a Christmas morning fire in northeast Spokane duplex that lacked working fire detectors.

Spokane firefighters contained the fire to the attic of one side of the duplex, but both the families in both units were displaced due to damage to utilities, according to a news release from the Spokane Fire Department.

“Both families were incredibly fortunate as there were no working smoke detectors in the building,” Assistant Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said in the release.

The fire was accidental, caused by a faulty fire place, Schaeffer said.

Twenty-six firefighters responded to the fire at 5:33 a.m. at 823 East Crown Ave. They found smoke showing from the attic and first floor, and flames from the roof of the one-story duplex.

An adult male occupant of the unit on fire had been awoken by a neighbor and was outside the home. An adult male and his son living in the adjacent unit were quickly located and brought outside by firefighters.

The fire was contained within an hour of firefighters arriving, Schaeffer said. No one was injured.

One family was referred to the American Red Cross for help finding temporary shelter.