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Fire forces five to flee home

| December 28, 2020 1:09 AM

POST FALLS — Five people safely fled a Post Falls home that caught fire early Sunday.

Kootenai County Fire & Rescue responded to reports of smoke or fire near 26th and Greensferry.

When the reports came in about 7 a.m., several KCFR crews were already working a small fire in a commercial building on Seltice Way near Spokane Street.

With help from Northern Lakes Fire District and Coeur d'Alene fire units, crews battled the blaze on Viking Loop, where the fire was spreading rapidly in a two-story wood-framed house, according to a KCFR press release.

"Fire crews worked inside the structure to determine fire locations and access options to allow fire crews to extinguish the fire but were forced to evacuate due to heavy fire," the press release said.

Steven Isaacson, KCFR division chief, said two people lived in the home and also had three guests staying with them.

He said the fire started on the exterior back deck, went up the siding of the home, and into the attic.

He said a tentative cause of the fire was determined to be debris from a smoker that was inappropriately discarded into a non-fireproof container.

The material smoldered throughout the night and into the morning before finally igniting, burning through a plastic shop vac and catching the home on fire.

"Once it gets the air from the outside, it's just going to go," Isaacson said.

The blaze was under control at 7:30 a.m., though crews stayed throughout the morning to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.

According to the release, one KCFR firefighter was slightly injured.

Isaacson said the home suffered extensive damage.


Photo courtesy Jeryl Archer/KCFR division chief Firefighters battle a blaze on Viking Loop in Post Falls early Sunday.