SPOKANE — A decades-long love story came to a tragic end early Monday morning when a Spokane couple perished in a mobile home fire.
The victims, whose names have not been released, died just after midnight when their home in the Cascade Mobile Home Community on 2311 W. 16th Ave. caught fire, according to a news release. Investigators have not determined a cause.
Firefighters knocked the blaze down within 10 minutes, but the building was already destroyed, according to the release.
Late Monday morning, neighbors gathered in the street near the wreckage of the blaze. Investigators combed through the destroyed home, looking for any evidence of what sparked the fire.
Paula Hanes looked on at the home her friends lived in, now a pile of black rubble. They were going to be married Thursday, she said, and have a small, private reception in a neighbor’s home. They’d been together more than 20 years, she said.
“They were devoted to each other,” Hanes said.
Both were friendly, good neighbors, she said.
Both were active, helping friends whenever they needed it. The woman had recently built a deck for the home. The deck’s forest green paint was still bright and clean, hardly touched by the blaze.
“I stood over there talking to her when she was building that deck,” she said, a small smile curling the edges of her mouth.
“I just can’t believe they’re gone,” she said.
Fire crews estimate the damage at $30,000.