A fire allegedly started by children Sunday afternoon destroyed a garage and severely damaged a Spokane house on Desmet Avenue.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation, but Battalion Chief Bruce Moline of the Spokane Fire Department said several children may have been involved with the blaze, which started about 4:30 p.m. inside a small white house at 1701 E. Desmet and moved into the garage. Moline said investigators were preparing to interview one child at the scene.
Nobody was injured in the blaze that scorched the siding on the neighboring home to the east and burned the front end of a red car.
Jennifer Smith stepped outside her apartment to smoke a cigarette and saw about four children jumping on a trampoline across the alley. She said she saw smoke and assumed someone had just lighted a barbecue.
“Then it exploded,” Smith said while she watched firefighters spray foam on the smoldering roof. “I yelled at the kids to get down and then ran inside to call 911.”
The fire quickly spread to trees, dried weeds and grass along the alley. Smith feared it was heading for her apartment building so she began banging on her neighbors’ doors.
One man ran out and grabbed a garden hose to wet down the alley.
When firefighters arrived, they noticed a downed power line on a chain-link fence near where the man was watering and where a group of spectators had gathered.
“We got the people back so they wouldn’t get water on the fence” and increase the risk of electrocution, Moline said.
A woman and her two children – an infant girl and 7-year-old boy – live in the burned home, but Moline said it was unclear whether they were home when the fire started.
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