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Sunday, Feb. 14, 2:52 a.m., Spokane Fire Department crews were dispatched to a report of a structure in the 1800 block of W. Gardner Ave. The caller reported flames coming from the front of the home and at least one explosion. Spokane Engine Three arrived on scene and reported fire coming from the one and a half story home with exposures (neighbors homes) on each side.
Crews immediately started to attack the fire with handlines and advanced inside the structure. Spokane Tower Four was assigned search and was already inside the structure when FireComm (SFD Dispatch) advised crews that a person was still in the home. Spokane Tower Four quickly found the victim in a back room of the home and removed him to waiting Spokane Fire Department and AMR medics. The victim was transported to an area hospital in critical but stable condition.
A Firefighter was also injured in a fall from a ladder and transported to an area hospital in stable condition. He was evaluated, treated and released.
The fire was quickly extinguished and crews remain on scene this morning. The home sustained significant damage with estimates of $200,000 loss.
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The probable cause of the fire is a heating unit.
The Spokane Fire Department wants to remind everyone that fires caused by heating equipment are preventable by making sure heating equipment is in good working order and monitored carefully.
SFD offers these tips for safely heating your home this winter:
- Heating equipment and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from all heating equipment, including furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and space heaters.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, as specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Create a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure space heaters are in good working order and used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Fireplaces should have a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container, which should be placed outside at least 10 feet away from your home.
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
- Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are located throughout the home.
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