PULLMAN, Wash. – Pullman Fire Department released a statement Wednesday night saying an accidental fire caused by a discarded cigarette burned down a two story duplex.
Fire crews were called to a duplex on Northwest Sunrise Drive after a neighbor told 911 operators that he could see flames and smoke coming from the upper unit of the house. Neighbors alerted the occupants of the downstairs duplex. All seven people in the building escaped unharmed, including several cats, three dogs and a goldfish.
The Fire Department said flames were emerging through the roof when they arrived. Authorities said the intensity of the fire even burned through the roof so firefighters poured water on a nearby tree to prevent it from catching on fire and spreading to nearby homes.
Deputy Fire Marshal Tony Nuttman ruled the fire an accident and said the fire was started by a discarded cigarette on the outside deck. Documents said a resident had disposed of a cigarette in an old plastic recycle bin that was filled with cardboard and paper.