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East Wenatchee house fire leaves woman critical, about 20 animals dead

EAST WENATCHEE, Wash. – Douglas County firefighters pulled an unconscious woman from a burning home early Saturday, but couldn’t save approximately eight dogs and 12 cats who perished in the blaze.

Louise Hurst, 51, was reported in critical condition late Saturday at Central Washington Hospital.

Firefighters found her in the hallway of her North James Street home, which was reported on fire at about 12:40 a.m. Saturday, said Brian Brett, assistant chief of Douglas County Fire District 2.

The woman lived alone at the home, apparently with the dogs and cats, Brett said. She was asleep in the master bedroom when the fire broke out and tried to flee, but was overcome smoke and heat.

The home was actively burning when crews arrived on the scene. They had information that a woman may be inside, Brett said.

Crews began fighting the main body of the fire, while two Douglas County Fire District 2 firemen entered the home from the back and searched amid high heat and heavy smoke to find Hurst, Brett said.

They carried her out, performed CPR and recovered the woman’s pulse, Brett said, before she was transferred to the hospital.

The woman’s family say a neighbor noticed the fire, called 911 and then approached the home to try to alert Hurst, finally throwing a rock through her bedroom window, Brett said. It was unclear Saturday why the women didn’t exit the home through the window.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Brett said.


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