Cause of this morning’s house fire ruled accidental

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager

Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 3:16 p.m.

Fire investigators with the Spokane Fire Department’s Special Investigation Unit say this morning’s house fire on N. Freya St. has been ruled accidental. Clothing in the laundry room placed in direct contact with an electric wall mounted heater caused the fire.

At approximately 8 a.m., the Spokane Fire Department, Spokane County Fire District 9 and Spokane County Fire District 1 responded to the structure fire in the 4800 block of N. Freya St. The fire caused substantial damage to the rear of the home and smoke damage throughout. The American Red Cross responded to assist the displaced family of five.

The Spokane Fire Department stresses that by following a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.