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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Dog saved from burning home

A firefighter cradled the wet, shivering bundle close to his chest as he approached Lisa McCarthy. Theodore, a small brown Chihuahua, had just been rescued from McCarthy’s still smoldering home at Mansfield and Northwest Boulevard Tuesday evening. McCarthy took the dog and hugged him close. “We thought he was out,” she said. Several people were inside the home when the fire broke out, including a 6-year-old child. Three dogs and a cat were also inside. “It went up so fast,” McCarthy said as she watched firefighters struggle to put out the fire. Everyone made it out safely. McCarthy said they had been burning trash in a fire pit in the backyard when the person watching the fire fell asleep. The backyard was full of furniture and other items and McCarthy said a tarp covering a set of shelves may be to blame for spreading the flames. “We think the wind may have grabbed the tarp and blew it over,” she said. Spokane Fire Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said when crews arrived they found fire between a backyard garage and the back of the house. In addition to a large number of flammable items, there were also propane tanks and containers of gasoline in the backyard, Schaeffer said. “There were several explosions during the fire,” he said. Thirteen fire crews responded to the two alarm blaze that was called in shortly after 5 p.m. A large crowd gathered to watch and westbound traffic on Northwest Boulevard was down to one lane, snarling traffic. Damage to the home is estimated at $350,000. The back half of the house was severely damaged and camper in the backyard also burned. McCarthy said she hoped some of her mementos could be saved, including her grandmother’s china. “The rest of it is rebuildable,” she said. The items stored in the back yard were intended for a new store that McCarthy planned to open. “It was going to be called Furniture and Stuff,” she said. “Well, the stuff just went up, along with the furniture.”
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