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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Quick response saves burning house from ruin; one firefighter injured

UPDATED: Sun., Aug. 19, 2018

An early morning house fire displaced a family and damaged a house Sunday at 808 E. Bridgeport Ave.

One firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion and was transported to a hospital, according to a officials, but has been released.

The cause of the fire, mainly in the attic, is still under investigation. The homeowner, Barbara Summers, said she believes the cause was faulty electrical wiring.

Fire crews were able to respond quickly because a fire station was less than a mile away, Summers said, saving the house from burning down entirely.

She said she woke up around 3 a.m. to the smell of smoke and thought it was from wildfires or from another house. Her fire alarm had not yet gone off.

“I went into the hallway and I knew the smoke was from inside,” she said. “I knew the attic was definitely on fire and I woke up the kids and ran out of the house.”

“By the time we got to the sidewalk, (firefighters) were here,” she said. “They were so fast. I was shocked.”

Summers recalled seeing a firefighter being carried outside, apparently having suffered from heat exhaustion. She said other firefighters were helping him out of his clothes and helmet.

“When they’re helping you and you see them struggling, it’s heartbreaking” she said.

Crews were able to extinguish the fire in the attic within minutes of arrival, according to Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer

Summers said the apartment had sustained significant damage. Second-floor ceilings fell inward from water damage and holes were cut in the roof to vent smoke. The attic was charred.

Schaeffer said about $10,000 worth of damage had been done. Summers said the entire second floor of the house, built in 1906, may have to be replaced.

“It’s bad inside,” she said.

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