A house fire that broke out Sunday afternoon in the West Hills neighborhood of Spokane caused an estimated $250,000 worth of damage and caused two firefighters to suffer heat exhaustion while battling the blaze.
The Spokane Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire at 3428 W. Fifth Avenue just before 1 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release from the department. A neighbor reported seeing smoke coming from the home and called 911.
Firefighting crews arrived to find the home on fire, with two occupants already safely evacuated.
The fire was upgraded to a second alarm fire shortly after, due to the heat conditions and a small brush fire that was sparked by the blaze. The brush fire was encroaching on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line that runs behind the house, and rail traffic was temporarily halted as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.
Property records indicate the home, which was built in 1940, is owned by Michael and Teresa Baumgarden.
The house fire was controlled by responding firefighters within 40 minutes. Forty-nine firefighters responded to the blaze, and two of them were treated for heat -related illness at the scene, according to the news release.
The fire caused severe damage throughout the home, and part of the roof collapsed as a result. Julie O’Berg, Spokane Fire Deputy Chief of Operations said the home is likely a complete loss, and that the residents have somewhere to stay and declined assistance from the American Red Cross. A dog and a cat were also safely evacuated from the home, O’Berg said.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and is under investigation by the Spokane Fire Special Investigation Unit. There were no working smoke detectors in the home, according to the news release.
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