Furnace fire displaces family

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:57 a.m.

Incident #: 2014061525

Issuing Officer: Battalion Chief Bill Donahoe

Narrative: At 05:29 AM, January 01, 2014 Spokane Fire Department companies responded to 3104 West Wellesley on a reported structure fire. When fire companies arrived on scene it was confirmed that all the occupants and pets were safely out of the single family wood framed dwelling. Fortunately the occupants were alerted by working smoke detectors from the Initial light smoke in the home. Companies reported the smoke intensity increasing on the first floor of the home and the incident was upgraded to a working fire. This added a second dedicated ladder company, A.M.R. ambulance, an investigator along with Avista gas and electric to the response.

Fire companies located the source of the heavy smoke from the malfunctioning natural gas furnace after approximately 10 minutes. Once the power and natural gas were shut off to the furnace the incident soon deescalated. No extinguishment was required. The home was ventilated and minor overhaul was completed. Due to the inoperable furnace, the family of two adults, two teenagers and one infant were displaced and being assisted by the Red Cross until repairs can be made. Avista has disconnected natural gas service to the home. No injuries were reported to civilians or firefighters.

Cause: The Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief and Special Investigation Unit have declared the natural gas fired furnace inoperable and in need of repair or replacement along with inspection by Avista prior to any occupants habituating the home.

Damage: There is light smoke damage throughout the home along with damage to the ceiling in one bedroom when attempting to locate the source of heat and potential fire extension into the attic. The furnace and portions of the ductwork are in need of replacement and or repair.

# Firefighters Responding: 22

Dollar Loss: $10,000.00

Other Agencies Responding: AMR Ambulance, Avista, and Red Cross.