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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

WSP Trooper spots house on fire, evacuates sleeping residents

UPDATED: Fri., March 1, 2019, 9:05 p.m.

Spokane fire Department firefighters cut a vent on the roof of an apartment house that caught fire fire at South 712 Maple Street, Friday, March 1, 2019. A Washington State Patrol officer spotted the smoke and alerted the residents of the building. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane fire Department firefighters cut a vent on the roof of an apartment house that caught fire fire at South 712 Maple Street, Friday, March 1, 2019. A Washington State Patrol officer spotted the smoke and alerted the residents of the building. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

A Washington State Patrol trooper drove by a house spewing smoke Friday and ran inside to awaken and evacuate the residents.

No one was hurt in the fire that began at about 3 p.m. at 712 S. Maple St., but five families were displaced, said Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer.

The building that caught fire is a house converted into apartments.

In one apartment lives Will Noble, who about 1:30 p.m. noticed a fuse had blown in his apartment because his outlets stopped working, he said. He called his dad, who told him to turn off the fuses, so he did, and Noble then took a nap because he had to work at 4 p.m.

He awoke to smoke and WSP Trooper Morgan Mehaffey banging on his door.

Noble said his bathroom and closet, which is connected to the attic, were engulfed in flames while he was leaving the building. He said he suspects the fuse box started the fire.

Mehaffey had been driving by and noticed the smoke, Schaeffer said. Mehaffey called in the fire, and then entered the house and woke up Noble and one other person, the only people in the house.

WSP Spokesman Jeff Sevigney said Mehaffey declined to be interviewed.

“He’s appreciative of the sentiment from everybody, but he was just doing his job,” Sevigney said.

Firefighters arrived and quickly isolated the fire to the attic, and investigators are looking into the cause.

The American Red Cross was on the scene to assist residents who were displaced. The group gives out blankets, toiletries and money for renting hotel rooms to victims of fire and other tragedies, said Suzie Giesa, worker at the American Red Cross who was helping the victims of Friday’s fire.

For Noble, he is able to stay at his parent’s house until he can figure out what to do next.

“I’m just glad everybody got out alive and safe,” Noble said. “It was scary.”

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