Two people died in a trailer fire outside of Suncrest in Stevens County last week.
In the early morning hours of April 1, Stevens County Fire 1 was called to a trailer fire off of state Route 291 between Suncrest and Tum Tum. By the time firefighters arrived a significant portion of the house was engulfed in flames, said Fire Chief Mike Bucey.
“When crews arrived there was a good portion … 50% of the trailer was fully involved,” Bucey said.
Crews did not see any indication of the home’s occupants outside, Bucey said. Firefighters had been to the home in the past for medical calls and knew at least one person would have been inside that night, possibly a second.
“Crews found the female of the residence on her bed, they removed her with no life signs,” Bucey said.
Firefighters continued to battle the fire while looking for the second resident. It took an excruciating 45 minutes to find the male resident, who was under some fallen debris near the bedroom, Bucey said.
“There were no apparent working smoke detectors in the residence,” Bucey said. “It would appear that potentially contributed preliminarily to the deaths.”
Several neighbors reported hearing explosions come from the house, but the fire department has not be able to verify what exactly made the noise, Bucey said. The male resident was on home oxygen but something as small as an aerosol can make significant noise if it explodes, Bucey added.
Fire deaths in Stevens County are “relatively rare,” Bucey said, even though many resident do not or are unable to properly maintain their smoke detectors.
Smoke alarms should be tested frequently with batteries replaced at least once every year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The entire smoke alarm should be replaced every 10 years.
The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office has taken over the investigation into the fire.
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