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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

One dead in early morning house fire in Spokane’s Emerson Garfield neighborhood

May 26, 2022 Updated Thu., May 26, 2022 at 9:13 p.m.

A house fire on the 1300 block of West Grace Avenue left one person dead early Thursday morning.  (Courtesy of the Spokane Fire Department)
A house fire on the 1300 block of West Grace Avenue left one person dead early Thursday morning. (Courtesy of the Spokane Fire Department)
By Emma Epperly and Garrett Cabeza The Spokesman-Review

One person is dead after an early morning house fire consumed a home in Spokane’s Emerson Garfield neighborhood.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 1300 block of West Grace Avenue at 2:30 a.m. and arrived within three minutes, according to a news release from the Spokane Fire Department.

Crews discovered heavy fire at the front of the house, endangering nearby homes. Firefighters entered the home and searched the first and second floors for occupants.

A home in Spokane’s Emerson Garfield neighborhood caught fire early Thursday morning, leaving one person dead.  (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)
A home in Spokane’s Emerson Garfield neighborhood caught fire early Thursday morning, leaving one person dead. (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

During the search, firefighters found one adult dead near an exit.

Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to nearby homes and extinguished it in about 40 minutes.

Todd Miller lives in one of those nearby homes – a duplex next to the residence that caught fire.

“I woke up and I could see the orange through the windows,” Miller said of the flames. “And I was like, ‘The house next door is on fire, isn’t it?’ And then I hear yelling, ‘The house next door is on fire.’ ”

The yelling came from neighbors banging on his door, which woke him up, to warn him of the blaze.

Miller said he grabbed his young son, who celebrated his fourth birthday Wednesday, and stood outside until after it was declared safe to go back inside his residence.

He said he was worried about his home burning down, adding that he could feel the heat from the fire. Exterior paint on the side of the duplex blistered, he said.

Shane Yorgensen, who lives two houses down from the burning house, next door to Miller, said the neighbors banging on Miller’s door also woke him up.

“Eventually, I saw the smoke coming out from above and so I just went outside and tried to help my neighbor here,” said Yorgensen, referring to a man who lives in the unit above Miller.

He said he helped the man remove items from his residence.

“I thought that his house was going to catch on fire,” Yorgensen said.

He said the street was lined with police and fire vehicles and personnel.

The cause of the fire was under investigation early Thursday morning. Men were boarding up windows of the burned home early Thursday afternoon.

The victim’s identity hasn’t been released.

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