One woman dead in apartment fire in Browne’s Addition neighborhood

SPOKANE, Wash. — A woman is dead as the result of an apartment fire in Browne’s Addition early Saturday morning.

The Spokane Fire Department responded to the scene off West Pacific Avenue and South Spruce Street just past 3 a.m. An initial 911 call suggested a neighbor smelled a “really strong chemical smell,” hearing what she thought was an argument, a woman crying and something similar to someone falling over.

The Spokane Police Department arrived, reporting a similar chemical order and investigated. They determined that the apartment was on fire and they called a first-alarm fire response to SFD.

When firefighters got to the scene, they found a woman in cardiac arrest whom SPD pilled out of the apartment.

There was heavy fire toward the back of the apartment building. While firefighters attempted to resuscitate the woman, others were putting out the fire.

Everyone inside the apartment building was evacuated. SFD says everyone was found and accounted for.

The name of the woman who died will be released at a later time from SPD’s Major Crimes Unit and the Spokane County Coroner. The cost of damage from the fire is still being calculated.

Spokane Fire Marshal Lance Dahl says the cause of the fire is still unknown.

“We can’t rule out cooking or smoking as potential causes of the fire,” Dahl said.

However, cooking is one of the common fire hazards. Fire Marshal Dahl said people need to be more cautious about kitchen fires as Thanksgiving approaches.

“If you are cooking or doing active cooking on the stove, you get a phone call or something, make sure to turn the burner off or take what you are cooking off the burner until you get attention back,” Dahl said.

For smoking though, double-checking your cigarette is a must, even when there’s snow on the ground.

“They put them out in planter pots or a can or a bottle,” Dahl said. “As those materials build up, it just takes one time not to get one of those to put out, and it will start the whole container smoking materials on fire.”

Fire officials also remind everyone to check their smoke detectors.

“They should check monthly,” Dahl said. “If you don’t have a 10-year Lithium-ion battery in it. The battery should be replaced annually.”

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