Pullman duplex fire displaces 7 people, cats, dogs, goldfish - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pullman duplex fire displaces 7 people, cats, dogs, goldfish

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PULLMAN, Wash. -

Fire crews in Pullman believe a fire that displaced seven people and several pets was caused by a discarded cigarette.

The fire apparently started on the outside deck of a two story duplex. It destroyed an upper unit and caused some damage to a lower unit, displacing seven residents, several cats, at least three dogs, and a goldfish. All of the residents and animals were evacuated safely and there were no injuries.

Firefighters were called to the duplex by a neighbor around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The neighbor told 911 operators that he could see flames and smoke coming from the upper unit of the house at 221 NW Sunrise Drive. Neighbors let the downstairs neighbors know what was happening and all escaped unharmed.

Flames were pouring through the roof when firefighters, including Whitman County Rural District 12, first arrived. Crews entered the duplex and made their way to the upper unit, where they found the fire had penetrated the ceiling and was in the attic. The intensity of the fire even burned through the roof so firefighters poured water on a nearby tree to make sure it did not ignite and possibly spread to another house. Fire crews also found a Great Dane trapped on the upper deck and in need of help. They managed to get a ladder to the area and rescued the dog.

The upstairs unit sustained extensive fire, smoke and water damage and could not be reoccupied. The downstairs unit was spared any fire or smoke damage but did sustain some water damage. Fire officials said there were at least two people living upstairs along with three dogs and the goldfish.  The downstairs unit was occupied by two adults and their three children, along with two cats and a dog.

Deputy Fire Marshal Tony Nuttman said the fire was accidental. He says the fire was caused by someone disposing of a cigarette in a recycling bin filled with cardboard and paper.

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