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Tuesday, July 14, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Body discovered at early morning house fire near Liberty Park

UPDATED: Mon., June 29, 2020

A Spokane firefighter from Station 2 hits a hot spot during mop up of a fatal house fire at the intersection of South Magnolia Street and East Sixth Avenue on Monday morning.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
A Spokane firefighter from Station 2 hits a hot spot during mop up of a fatal house fire at the intersection of South Magnolia Street and East Sixth Avenue on Monday morning. (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Emma Epperly and Daisy Zavala The Spokesman-Review

The body of a 72-year-old man was found inside a house near Liberty Park in East Central Spokane damaged in an early-morning fire Monday.

Firefighters were called to the home at 1903 E. Sixth Ave. at about 3:15 a.m., the Spokane Fire Department said in a news release.

When crews arrived, they forced entry into the two-story home where they were met with extreme heat and smoke conditions, the department said.

The home had a significant amount of flammable materials inside, described by the fire department as hoarder conditions with unstable flooring and high heat.

A neighbor, Blaine Hennan, was woken by his wife at 3:09 a.m., after she heard the fire trucks. He said he ran with a fire extinguisher in hand but when he got to the house he realized it wouldn’t be enough to quell the fire that had engulfed the attic.

The 72-year-old male victim was located on the second floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene after being removed from the burning building.

“He kept to himself for the most part,” Hennan said. “But he was a nice guy and wouldn’t bother anyone – he was a free spirit.”

No other civilians or firefighters were injured. Crews stayed on scene much of the morning putting out hot spots.

Firefighters returned to the scene around 4 p.m after receiving a call from nearby citizens that there was smoldering coming from the attic. Firefighters quickly put it out.

The home is owned by Gregory V. Burford, according to county property records.

Spokane Police Department detectives and Spokane Fire Department investigators are investigating the fire. The victim has yet to be identified.

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