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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pullman firefighters pull man from burning apartment

Moscow-Pullman Daily News

An alert neighbor and quick actions by Pullman firefighters likely saved the life of a 57-year-old man Friday morning.

Firefighters responded to a triplex apartment unit on the 100 block of Northwest Larry Street around 3:45 a.m. after a neighbor reported hearing a smoke alarm sounding in the units, according to a news release from the fire department.

“If they would have waited any longer we could have had a bigger fire and he would have been dead,” Pullman Fire Chief Mike Heston said. “The windows were just starting to break when we got there.”

When fire crews arrived they found the window to a downstairs apartment cracked and hazed over. Firefighters then used a thermal imaging camera, which indicated there was a fire in the unit.

Firefighters broke through the unit’s door and found an unconscious 57-year-old man lying on the floor. The man was pulled outside by firefighters and medical treatment was started immediately. The man was then taken to Pullman Regional Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to the news release. He was later transferred to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Heston said the man was supposed to be airlifted to Spokane but due to the fog, he was transported via ambulance. As of Thursday afternoon, the man was still listed in critical condition, according to a news release from the PFD.

The fire was confined to the downstairs apartment unit and damage was estimated at $60,000. Most of the fire damage was near the front of the unit but there was some smoke and water damage throughout the residence.

Residents living in the other two units in the home were awakened by fire and police officers and evacuated. There was no damage to the other two apartments.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined.