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Fire claims Cocolalla home

| December 29, 2010 8:00 PM

COCOLALLA - A Bonner County couple managed to escape a structure fire that consumed their home on Saturday morning, but they lost their pets, possessions and Christmas gifts in the blaze.

"They lost 100 percent of everything," Sagle Fire District Chief Robert Webber said.

Donations of relief supplies, including toys for 7- and 11-year-old girls who lived in the home, are being accepted at the Sagle Fire District's main station on U.S. Highway 95.

Firefighters fromSagle, Sandpoint and Northside were dispatched to the fire at 124 North Beach Road. Smoke from the fire was visible by up to a mile away.

The home's occupants - Kevin Oxrider, 42, and Jamie Cady, 33 - were asleep in the spit-level home when the fire broke out. Their two children were spending the night at a relative's house at the time.

Sagle Fire officials said Cady awoke because she was having trouble breathing. She awoke Oxrider, who turned the light on, and they discovered the room was filled with smoke.

They fled the residence after Oxrider was unable to extinguish the fire with water from the sink. Oxrider singed his face and hair during and was forced to flee barefoot to a neighbor's home to call 911.

The home had an operational smoke detector, although it was located in a portion of the house that kept the alarm from being heard from inside the bedroom.

The home and its contents were a total loss. Damage to the home was estimated at $350,000, while its contents were estimated to be $80,000. A dog and a cat were also lost in the fire.

Webber said the cause of the fire is undetermined, but appears to be accidental.

Oxrider and Cady transported themselves to Newport Community Hospital, where they were checked and treated for their exposure to the smoke and released. Webber said the couple is in contact with the American Red Cross.

Webber said the couple has a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle, but the keys to the vehicles were destroyed in the fire.

"That so tells the story of what these guys are going through right now, that they can't even drive their cars," said Webber.

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