May 3, 2013 in City

Firefighters rescue dogs, cat from South Hill blaze

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Firefighter Bridget Luby, left, holds an oxygen mask on Chief, a 10-year-old cat belonging to Haley Major, right, outside the heavily damaged house on Eighth Avenue near Napa Street on Thursday. The cat was rescued from a fire at the home.
(Full-size photo)

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Five people are displaced after a fire burned a portion of their South Hill home on Thursday afternoon.

The fire is believed to have started around 2:20 p.m. in the backyard at 1835 E. Eighth Ave. and spread to the exterior walls of the home and portions of the attic, Spokane Fire Battalion Chief Steve Sabo said.

Fire crews quickly extinguished the flames within 30 minutes.

One person was home when the fire started, he said, but that person got out and there were no injuries. The fire’s cause is still under investigation.

Crews also rescued the family’s three dogs and a 10-year-old cat named Chief, who firefighters found hiding in the basement.

Because he suffered smoke inhalation, the cat required oxygen administered with a special pet mask. Local veterinarians donated the specialized oxygen masks to Spokane Fire Department in 2010 to help cats, dogs and other small animals, according to Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer.

“I was scared he wasn’t going to make it because he was downstairs,” resident Haley Major, 20, said of her cat. Chief is expected to be OK.

Investigators estimate the fire caused about $100,000 in damage. The family is being provided temporary housing by the Red Cross.

This is the second fire at the property in recent years. In 2006, a grass fire engulfed a garage and spread to two neighboring homes and garages, according to previous news reports.

A firefighter gives the family cat, Chief, oxygen. | Video: Nicole Hensley

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