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Fire destroys two Hauser Lake homes

by Brian Walker
| November 26, 2010 8:00 PM

HAUSER - A fire destroyed two Hauser Lake homes on Wednesday night and a 90-year-old man had to be rescued from the flames of one of the homes.

Hauser Lake Fire Chief Larry Simms said Bill Sutherland, who was sleeping at the time the fire was reported around 7:30 p.m., was rescued by a neighbor's son through the door on the home on Woodland Beach Road near the Chef in the Forest. Sutherland was the lone occupant.

Sutherland's guesthouse, which was unoccupied, next door was also destroyed.

"The homes are so close together in that area that it made it difficult," Simms said.

Sutherland, a long-time local resident, was checked by emergency crews for smoke inhalation, but did not need to be transported to the hospital.

"He lost some World War II memorabilia and antiques," Simms said. "We protected his shop, which he enjoys."

Another house to the south was spared.

"It did receive some water damage, but that was from trying to protect it," Simms said. "I'm proud of the crews for containing it to the two homes."

Simms said Sutherland's home was "pretty well involved" when firefighters arrived, then the fire spread to the guesthouse.

Sutherland only made it out with his watch on. He has relatives nearby to assist him.

"He even lost his hearing aids," Simms said.

Simms said the cause of the fire has not been determined.

"There's some rumors, but nothing I can comment on," Simms said.

Firefighters stayed at the scene until about 3 a.m. Crews from Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, Newman Lake, Spokane Valley and Northern Lakes assisted Hauser Lake with the fire.

"It was a challenging fire because of how cold it was and the heavy involvement," Simms said. "We used portable water tanks, but we never ran out of water."

A crew spent part of Thursday watching the scene for hotspots.

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