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Saturday, August 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Family displaced, firefighter injured when garage fire spreads to home in Hillyard

UPDATED: Fri., June 28, 2019, 6:43 p.m.

Homeowner Kathy Barton, left, gets an embrace from her daughter, Miranda Dowdy, on Friday, June 28, 2019, after a fire destroyed the rear of Barton’s house and several garages. Four people and four dogs made it out of the burning home at Queen Avenue and Stone Street in Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Homeowner Kathy Barton, left, gets an embrace from her daughter, Miranda Dowdy, on Friday, June 28, 2019, after a fire destroyed the rear of Barton’s house and several garages. Four people and four dogs made it out of the burning home at Queen Avenue and Stone Street in Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

A garage fire in Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood – with flames so hot they melted plastic on an RV parked on the street – spread to a century-old house Friday morning, displacing a family of four.

Firefighters were called to the home at 2303 E. Queen Ave. at about 2:45 a.m., after neighbor Elizabeth Beeler woke to the sound of crackling wood and saw an orange glow coming through her bedroom window.

“The whole garage was on fire,” she said. “To where you couldn’t even see it.”

As the flames grew, they spread south to the house, where four people and four dogs were sleeping. By the time Beeler made it there and started pounding on the front door, the fire had jumped, overtaking the kitchen and sending thick plumes of black smoke throughout the house.

Kathy Barton, the home’s owner, said she was fast asleep until she heard Beeler banging and yelling for them to get outside.

“I’m like, ‘What?’ ” Barton said. “ ‘Oh my god. Get out.’ ”

Barton, her boyfriend and two other adult family members made it out unscathed, along with the four dogs.

Michele Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Spokane Fire Department, said firefighters rescued one of the dogs. One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment. He was quickly released.

The fire destroyed Barton’s garage. All that remained were piles of charred metal and a chimney standing tall in the middle of a grassy clearing.

The house’s south side also was destroyed, including an extended back entryway. Flames had reached into the kitchen.

Barton said her insurance company predicted the home would be a total loss. County records show she purchased it in 2015. The home and garage were built in 1909.

The cause remains under investigation, although the family believes it was electrical.

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