A father and his teenage daughter safely escaped with the family cat from a fire in their home earlier this week.
The happy ending was due to smoke alarms recently installed by the Spokane Valley Fire Department, said Melanie Rose, spokeswoman for SVFD.
The fire broke out in the daughter’s unoccupied bedroom in the single-family home at 9811 E. Eighth Ave. on Monday shortly after 11:30 a.m. The first unit to arrive on the scene found smoke coming from an upstairs window of the home and upgraded the incident to a working structure fire which brought additional units to assist with firefighting operations.
Fourteen units responded, Rose said, including command and support vehicles along with an engine from Spokane County Fire District 8. Crews quickly extinguished the fire before it could spread into the attic and cause further damage.
The teenager reported a strange smell in her bedroom. The family searched for the source without luck and decided that the daughter should not occupy the room until checked out by an electrician.
The bedroom door was closed at the time of the fire, helping to contain the fire and limit damage to the rest of the home. The father was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.
SVFD fire investigators determined the cause to be an aging wall outlet that was arcing and caught fire. Damage is estimated to be at least $20,000.
The Red Cross is assisting the family of four and their two pets, a dog and a cat.
On April 29, a team of SVFD firefighters installed five smoke alarms in the home as part of a one-day “Home Fire Safety Visit” campaign conducted in the area with the with the American Red Cross. The home previously did not have any working smoke alarms.
The campaign resulted in 305 smoke alarms installed in 95 homes by 43 volunteers and on-duty crews during a four-hour time period, Rose said. The target area for the campaign was selected based on department data, demographics, the age of homes in the area and risk factors including a fire fatality in the neighborhood within the last 10 years.
“SVFD would like to remind residents that the importance of smoke alarms cannot be overstated,” Rose said. “Smoke alarms over 10 years old should be replaced. And smoke alarms should be placed in every bedroom and on every level of a home.”
To schedule a free home fire safety visit, go online at spokanevalleyfire.com or by calling 892-4153.