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Monday, July 13, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Explosion, fire shakes townhome near school

An explosion and fire burned part of a townhouse at 6307 N. Altamont St. next to Arlington Elementary on Sunday, June 23, 2019. Firefighters did not comment on the fire but a witness said she knocked on the door, smelled smoke, then windows exploded just as she started walking away from the house. (Emma Epperly / The Spokesman-Review)
An explosion and fire burned part of a townhouse at 6307 N. Altamont St. next to Arlington Elementary on Sunday, June 23, 2019. Firefighters did not comment on the fire but a witness said she knocked on the door, smelled smoke, then windows exploded just as she started walking away from the house. (Emma Epperly / The Spokesman-Review)

An explosion and following fire ravaged a townhouse on Altamont Street next to Arlington Elementary School on Sunday.

Breanna Neal was waiting to purchase something from the resident of 6307 N. Altamont St. when the explosion occurred. The resident was 25 minutes late and knocks on the door had gone unanswered.

There was this a faint beeping and the smell of smoke but it was like a barbecue smell, Neal said.

“My body was on alert,” said Neal. “I was in flight or fight mode.”

Neal started walking down the driveway and seconds later the glass from the windows came hurling towards her, she said. That’s when she called 911. The call came in at 4:35 p.m.

“I really wasn’t sure what to think,” said Neal.

There were two dogs and a cat inside, Neal said, who watched firefighters battle with the flames. One dog got out and she doesn’t know what happened to the other pets but no people were inside at the time of the fire.

The fire department arrived within a couple minutes, Neal said.

The fire left windows blown out and holes in the roof. Spokane Fire Station 15 responded to the call.

Records show the property is owned by Chartwell Properties, LLC.

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