A child died in a house fire Sunday, and it’s been determined that a child playing with a heat source was the cause, fire officials say.
Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane County Fire District 8 units were dispatched shortly before 3 a.m. to 10410 E. Springfield Ave. for a reported structure fire involving a residential house.
Fifteen units in total responded including command and support vehicles.
Responding fire units were notified of a possible trapped person in the basement of the reported residence, said Shawn Pichette, department spokesman. Multiple Spokane Valley Police officers, who were in the immediate area, responded to the residence and attempted to enter the basement and rescue the person.
They were stopped by severe heat and smoke and forced to retreat the residence.
Valley Engine 1 arrived at the residence and was met immediately by sheriff’s deputies, who confirmed there was a person trapped in the basement. Fire crews immediately upgraded the fire response which brought in additional resources and then entered the structure in an attempt to rescue the trapped person.
Upon locating the 3-year-old in a room in the basement it was determined that she was already deceased. The fire was then quickly knocked down.
The girl’s mother was taken to a local hospital for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries related to smoke inhalation.
On Tuesday, fire officials said the bedroom had been occupied by three young children – two escaped -- at the time of the fire.
Investigators examined and eliminated all potential causes of the fire with the exception of a child playing with a heat source, said Melanie Rose, department spokeswoman.
While damage was limited to the basement, the entire home sustained smoke damage. The home had working smoke alarms, Rose added.
Two families with three adults and six children were living in the home at the time, but three children were away when the fire occurred.
The Red Cross is providing emergency assistance to both families.