Fire destroys Kennewick home

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 11, 2013 

A single-story house in east Kennewick was destroyed by fire Thursday.

The home, at 304 E. Seventh Ave., was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene just after it was reported at 10:05 a.m., said Kennewick Fire Marshal Mark Yaden.

Benton Fire District 1 and Pasco fire also responded.

Firefighters still were trying to cut holes in the roof to vent the smoke and get the fire out completely an hour after the call.

"We did have to make forced entry into the house," Yaden said. "The weak part of the structure is the roof. We had to pull firefighters off it."

Fire crews were challenged by a lack of water hydrants near the house, requiring them to go to the next block to get water. They also had to deal with a new roof installed over the existing roof, which created concealed cavities and made extinguishing the fire difficult, Yaden said.

The most serious damage in the home was near a wood stove, leading officials to suspect it as the cause, he said, adding it was too soon to know for sure. Investigators likely will be at the home todayo check out the wood stove and look for possible electrical malfunctions.

One man lives in the house, but he was not home at the time, Yaden said. He reportedly had left about 40 minutes earlier and was shocked to see firefighters at his home when he returned.

Neighbors called 911 after seeing the flames. Damage is estimated at about $65,000.

-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com

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