First Fatal Fire for 2019 - 6300-blk of N. Lee St

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 3:11 p.m.

At 4:02 PM, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) was dispatched to investigate a report of an obvious death as a result of a family member checking on their relative. The family reported hearing a "hissing" coming from the home and suspected a gas leak.

Firefighters responded to the scene and requested additional units to determine if dangerous atmospheric conditions or a gas leak posed immediate risk to adjacent homes. It was determined that the "hissing" sound was a result of an open faucet.

The investigation revealed that there was a fire overnight, which started accidentally from discarded smoking materials. A 27 year old male occupant apparently awoke sometime in the night and attempted to extinguish a well-involved couch fire. The running faucet was used as the victim ran back and forth with a pot of water in attempt to fight the fire themselves. Unfortunately, the victim was overcome by smoke and was found deceased in the kitchen. A dog and cat were also found dead in the home. There were no working smoke detectors in the premises.

The occupancy was a duplex and the adjoining occupancy was unaware of a fire. The neighbor reported hearing some rustling just before midnight. The couch produced thick black smoke, but the fire did not extend beyond the couch. The fire ran out of air and became vent-limited, therefore conditions inside of the residence were unnoticed by neighbors or passerby's.

In event of a suspected fire, the SFD recommends that occupants immediately evacuate, close the door behind them, call 9-1-1, and wait at a designated meeting place. Let the SFD or your local fire department extinguish the fire. In addition, ensure that there is a working smoke detector on every floor.