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

Woman dies days after South Hill house fire; blaze under investigation

March 7, 2023 Updated Tue., March 7, 2023 at 8:19 p.m.

A woman who was hospitalized from a South Hill house fire over the weekend has died, according to Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer.

Spokane police spokesman Cpl. Nick Briggs said it’s too early to say whether the fire or death were caused by criminal activity.

Spokane firefighters were dispatched to the home, 1020 E. 39th Ave., around 11:40 p.m. Friday, according to search warrant documents filed Monday in Spokane County Superior Court. Firefighters found a woman, 67-year-old Laurie Kilts, in the fetal position in the kitchen, documents say.

Kilts, who owns the home, was in cardiac arrest and removed from the residence, according to a Spokane Fire Department news release. Firefighters and paramedics resuscitated her.

Court documents indicated Kilts had “no apparent or obvious injuries” apart from being affected by the fire.

She was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. It was unclear which day she died.

A person working as a caregiver across the street from the home told police they heard a male scream before firefighters arrived.

The fire started in a bedroom on the main level of the home, documents say. The kitchen where Kilts was found is in close proximity to the bedroom.

The residence sustained significant fire and smoke damage, according to the fire department.

According to court records, the kitchen sink faucet was trickling and something that looked like a roll of paper towels was burnt in the sink.

While extinguishing the fire, firefighters noticed a brown truck travel past the home. The truck was driving “faster than normal” for a residential area . The truck drove over one of the fire hose lines, documents say.

Firefighters then noticed the truck in the alley behind the burned home. The truck eventually drove away. Firefighters found a side door to the house wide open when they arrived.

Meanwhile, Kilts’ family told police Kilts has had suicidal tendencies and addictions to alcohol and prescription medications, documents say.

The fire department and police are investigating.

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