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A firefighter balancing act

I was cleaning out my email today and found this photo sent to me on Monday. I was struck by how precariously the top firefighter is balanced as he cuts a hole in the roof of a home in the 21000 block of East Wellesley. It's a little hard to see in this small size, but his right foot is supported by the head of an axe driven into the roof. His left foot is on the metal ladder and a fellow firefighter is helping support him. (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

The four people in the home got out without injury. The fire caused about $50,000 in damage, largely because the firefighters were forced to cut into the roof. The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical malfunction. Photo courtesy the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

“Raging” house fire

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Spokane Valley Fire Department assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford describes yesterday's house fire at Welleley and Moore as “raging.” When firefighters arrived there were smoke and flames coming out the front door, the living room window and the back of the house. The sounds of the crackling flames alerted one of the occupants, who also got his brother and newphew out of the burning home, Clifford said. The only smoke detector in the home was on the lower level and the fire started on the main floor. The two adults suffered from smoke inhalation and received minor burns.

The cause of the fire hasn't yet been determined. Damage to the house is estimated to be at least $200,000. The photos above are courtesy of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.