Crews Use Pickaxes, Chainsaw To Get To Chimney Fire
SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane firefighters responded to a house fire in the 1800 block of W. Mission Ave just after 9am Sunday morning. When they arrived, there was heavy smoke pouring from the roof of the home. Three adult occupants were evacuated as fire crews set up their initial attack.
Crews used ladders to get to the roof, and then used more ladders to help stay up on the roof, which was covered in snow. The fire appears to have started in the chimney of the home. A resident of the home told KHQ this was the first time they've used the chimney for a fire this season, and say it now appears they did not clean it out well enough.
Fire crews used a chainsaw and pickaxe on top of the roof to get into the attic, and stop the fire in its tracks. It took about 20 minutes to get the fire completely extinguished.
In the meantime, crews on the ground floor began clearing out some of the occupant's possessions, including a large birdcage filled with birds, and some clothes.
A man in his 50's, his girlfriend, also in her 50's, and the woman's adult son live at the home. A neighbor told KHQ the landlord had recently put up siding on the home and watched as firefighters tore that new siding off to get to the fire. The landlord was not on scene.
There were no injuries, however two housecats escaped through the back door when fire crews arrived. The cats are not used to being outside, and the adult son planned on spending the day looking for them.
A fire investigator was on scene to determine the exact cause of the fire and how much damage was done. At this time it is not clear if they can remain living in the home. Look for further updates on KHQ.com as they become available.
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