UPDATE: North Spokane Family Watches Helplessly As Home Burns To - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: North Spokane Family Watches Helplessly As Home Burns To Ground

SPOKANE, Wash. - A local family watched everything they own, including their home, go up in flames Sunday night. The sense of loss was overwhelming as friends gathered through the rubble to help pick up what was left behind. That home, located on Meghan Street in the Five Mile area, burned to the ground after the family said a faulty car battery created a spark in the garage.

The Spokane Fire Department is still investigating the exact cause of the fire.

The three people inside, Chhay Leng, her husband Chhan Seang and their son were sleeping when the fire broke out. A second son was not home at the time. They all managed to get out of the house ok. However, fire crews confirmed, Monday the home, the family's five cars, and many of their priceless belongings were a complete loss.

By the time the Spokane Fire Department arrived, the home was already engulfed in flames. Video shows the fire roared throughout the home, causing explosions in the garage.

Battalion Chief Bill Donahoe was first to arrive on the scene and said it took nearly 30 firefighters to put out the blaze. "We worked them all pretty hard," he said "We had a lot of rotation of the crews in this fire."

The family did not want to make a statement on camera. Their close friend, Paul Rogers, spoke to KHQ Local News Monday.

"It's a real devastating loss because they lost everything," Rogers said. "In this case, we did not lose a life which is probably the biggest blessing."

By morning, Leng, Seang and their son scoured through the charred remains.  Rogers came over to help when he got a frantic call from Leng.

"I almost cried and gave her a big hug and said it was just important that you made it out safe," Roger said. "But still it hurts, you know, because you lose a lot of memories, pictures which you can't replace."

The family owns small business Donuts to Go on Division at 7009 N Division Street near the Sears Auto Center. Rogers said Leng and Seang worked extremely hard for everything they had, including their home.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the first bout of bad luck for the family.

Two years ago, in early January, their donut shop was one of three buildings whose roof collapsed under the pressure of wet, heavy snow. Rogers said it took the family nine months to rebuild.

Now, Rogers is confident they will do it again: rebuild their home and their lives.

"We'll be able to rebuild again, on this project and get it back like new again but it will take time, a long time."

As of Monday night, the family does had a place to stay. The local Red Cross coordinated with the family's insurance company and arranged for the family to temporarily stay in a hotel.

Leng and Seang do have insurance to cover damage to the home but Rogers said it's likely insurance won't cover all of the damages.

An account has been set up for the family at any Sterling Savings Bank. Make donations out to Chhay Leng or Chhan Seang.

This story was filed by KHQ Local News Reporter & Anchor Chelsea Kopta

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