New Year's Eve house fire kills two pets, damages home in northeast Spokane

<p><p>A New Year’s Eve house fire killed two pets and caused significant damage to the structure in northeast Spokane, fire officials said.</p></p><p><p>The Spokane Fire Department with aid from Spokane County Fire District 9 responded to the blaze around 10:15 p.m. Friday on the 2200 block of Dalke Avenue, according to a Spokane Fire Department news release.</p></p><p><p>Crews reported seeing a large column of smoke from several blocks out, the release said.</p></p><p><p>Once on scene, heavy fire was found coming from one side of the home, with heavy smoke visible from the eave lines and attic vents.</p></p><p><p>The release said five occupants evacuated the structure before the Spokane Fire Department’s arrival. American Medical Response and Red Cross also responded to the incident.</p></p><p><p>Firefighters contained the blaze to two rooms and extinguished it within 10 minutes after the first engine’s arrival. There was major fire and smoke damage to a bedroom and kitchen, and significant smoke damage throughout the structure.</p></p><p><p>Six fire apparatus, along with 20 firefighters, responded to the fire.</p></p><p><p>The cause of the blaze was smoking materials that were left in an outside container close to the structure.</p></p><p><p>There were no human injuries, but the fire department said two pets died in the blaze.</p></p><p><p>The release advised people who smoke should do so outside and use deep, sturdy ashtrays or a metal can if an ashtray is unavailable.</p></p><p><p>Before throwing out cigarette butts, use water or sand to make sure that they are completely out. Do not throw cigarettes in vegetation, potted plants or trash cans because they can catch fire easily, the release said.</p></p>