Fire investigators look into blaze that destroyed home

The Tri-City HeraldApril 8, 2014 

Fire investigators poked through the ashes and charred, smoldering remains of a two-story West Richland house Tuesday.

The house on North Harrington Road and an adjacent storage shop were destroyed Monday evening, said Chief Bill Whealan with Benton Fire District 4.

Investigators are looking at an outside fire pit and a room that stores a water pressure tank as places where the fire may have started, Whealan said.

Larry and Malvina Goodwin, who own the house and nine acres, were not home at the time.

They lost everything in the house and shop. But Whealan said they are trying to stay positive.

"They are very understanding," Whealan said. "Their son is actually a volunteer resident (firefighter) with us. Thank God no one got hurt. It's only stuff and stuff can always be replaced."

The Benton County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency investigating the fire. The sheriff's office routinely investigates large fires and so far no foul play is suspected.

"The realism of it is that these kind of fires are so hard to pinpoint unless you spend a lot of time and money," Whealan said.

Neighbors called 911 to report the fire about 5 p.m. Fire district crews were spread out across Benton County dealing with barn and haystack fires on Sunset View Private Road.

When firefighters arrived at North Harrington Road, the fire had spread into the attic and was beginning to engulf the house, Whealan said. Crews were able to keep it from spreading to a barn.

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