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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Three victims in deadly north Spokane house fire on life support, according to family

A woman and her two children, victims of a deadly house fire in the Emerson Garfield neighborhood early Saturday morning, remain hospitalized and on life support, a family member told KHQ Sunday.

The father, Robert Desislets, 40, died on the scene, according to a Spokane Fire Department news release.

The mother, Arielle Desislets, 33, and her kids, ages 2 and 7, are “brain dead,” KHQ reported, and family members do not expect them to survive.

Firefighters removed the four residents from the second floor of the burning house on 1717 N. Howard St., at 4:10 a.m. Saturday, responding to a 911 call of the porch on fire.

Crews arrived within four minutes of receiving the call, according to the release, and entered through the back of the home as the porch was on fire and impassable.

Neighbor Alex Bennett watched the scene from his window in his apartment next door. He watched firefighters pull the family from the house: first the youngest child, followed by the other child, Arielle, and finally Robert, who died at the scene.

Bennett said the crews administered first aid, including CPR, to the family before transporting them to the hospital in critical condition.

Bennett could feel the heat of the flames from a side yard facing the now-charred house and detached shed.

He didn’t know the residents well. The few interactions left him with a positive impression of the young family with two dogs that died in the fire, he said.

“They were very nice people,” Bennett said.

He recalled watching responders wrap the dogs’ bodies in white blankets and carry them away in a van late morning Saturday. One of the dogs was named Karma.

The family of the fire victims started a fund to pay for funeral expenses, through

The three bedroom, one bathroom house was built in 1905 and sits directly across the street from North Central High School. The Desislets purchased the home in 2020.

Editor’s note: this article has been amended to reflect the neighborhood in which the fire occurred.