Twelve hours after firefighters thought they fully extinguished a blaze at a central Pasco home, crews were called back when flames rekindled.
The one-story home at 1753 N. 22nd Ave. already had pretty extensive damage after the initial fire at 12:12 p.m. Thursday, said Assistant Fire Chief Dave Hare.
“The back half of the house was pretty well gone when we got there, so it had a pretty good head start,” said Hare. He added that he could see the column of smoke through the already smoky skies as he responded from the administration building in East Ainsworth Street.
Crews were told a person may have been in the home at the time, but a quick search turned up an empty house.
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Two cats were missing, but Hare said one of them later was found hiding in some bushes.
An American Red Cross team also responded to the original fire to help three people since the home was a total loss, according to Ben Shearer, a fire department spokesman.
Peggy Hoggarth, executive director of the Benton-Franklin Chapter, said Friday that the organization gave the residents food, hygiene kits, basic clothing and money to find shelter for a couple nights.
The damage estimate is $90,000 for both the home and their property, Shearer said.
In that first firefight, Pasco was helped by Franklin Fire District 3, Walla Walla Fire District 5 and Kennewick. They had just under 30 people for the initial alarm, primarily because of the high heat during the middle of the day, Hare said.
The fire was under control in 15 minutes, though Hare says clearly they didn’t have it out.
Hare said people often don’t realize that houses are equally affected by extremely dry weather if the homes are made of wood. That leads to more intense fires.
Firefighters searched of the home in the afternoon with thermal imaging cameras and didn’t see any significant heat sources, he said. But then things dried out.
A city code enforcement officer checked for any preliminary safety hazards, and a fence was put up around the property so no one could go inside until the investigation was done, Hare said.
But at 11:58 p.m., emergency dispatchers sent crews back to the house because it was on fire again.
The second time around, firefighters had it under control in less than 10 minutes. A crew stayed throughout the night on fire watch.
Investigators don’t believe either fire is suspicious, but haven’t been able to determine exactly where the fire started.