RICHLAND, Wash. - A Richland home is severely damaged after a fire started in the garage on Saturday.
The Richland Fire Department responded to the call around 3:33 p.m. at a home on Lethbridge Avenue and Chadwick Street.
Flames were escaping the garage and impinging the outside, second-story of the home. The fire did extend into the home but firefighters were about to stop the flames before much damage was done inside. The fire was mainly contained to the garage.
Richland Fire Department Chief, Tom Huntington, told KAPP-KVEW the garage is a total loss and much of the house will have smoke damage. Richland Fire will get the family in contact with Red Cross for support. If anyone would like to help the family, they can contact the Richland Fire Department's business office on Monday at 942-7703.
There were two residents in the home at the time but were able to get out with their dog. They are still looking for their cats though. They will not be able to stay in the home because of the amount of smoke damage in the home.
A West Richland man visiting the neighborhood, Brian Kowalski, said the flames were headed for the second floor when he captured video of the fire.
"My friend I was visiting knows the owner of the home," Kowalski said, "and he went running when we saw it."
Benton County Fire District 2, Benton County Fire District 4 and Pasco Fire Department assisted Richland Fire Department with the fire. The firefighters were responding in shifts and when their air supply got low, a new team would go in. High-pitch ringing was going off from their air tanks, a warning that tells the firefighters their tank is at 25% oxygen supply.
Chief Huntington says there is an early start to the natural cover fire season. This house fire was the second of the day in the Tri-Cities.
"One thing that can make a residential fire like this more significant is the wind," Chief Huntington said, "what might be a small fire that burns slowly to start, with the 20 to 30 mile-per-hour winds, it really makes the fire progress quickly."
He also reminded people to have functioning fire alarms to keep their homes safe.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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