A fire at a Kennewick double-wide trailer Monday may have been started by an electrical problem, but investigators say more information is needed until they determine a cause.
Kennewick Fire Marshal Mark Yaden also told the Herald they're considering any possibility -- from arson to accidental. The Kennewick Police Department's arson detective was called out to help.
"We did clean up the scene and got it reconstructed. We can see where the fire started in the bedroom," Yaden said. "There's some electrical wiring in there that didn't look too bad but is damaged from the fire."
Electricians are being called in to help trace the circuits for investigators, he said. Yaden said they don't know if the damage seen in the wiring caused the fire or if it was damaged by the fire.
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Smoke billowed out of the home at 2302 N. Utah St., where the fire was reported just before 9 a.m.
Two adults and three children who were home at the time escaped without injuries, said Kennewick Deputy Fire Chief Marvin Leonard.
One resident went to get into the shower, walked by a back bedroom and noticed smoke as the person went by the door, he said.
"They opened the door, and flames and smoke came out. They shut the door and called 911 and evacuated the residence," he said. "The house was full of a family just getting up and getting on with their day."
Flames were shooting out of the roof of the home when the first engine from the Richland Fire Department arrived. A next-door neighbor said he heard the sirens, went outside and saw the flames over the large camper he had parked in the driveway.
Another neighbor told the Herald that responding firefighters did an incredible job getting the fire out so quickly.
The Richland fire crew had the flames knocked down within three minutes of announcing on the radio that they were going into the home, Leonard said.
Firefighters knew the fire was in the corner back bedroom, so they went straight to the room and extinguished it, he said. It took about another 15 minutes to put out all the major hot spots, he said.
By 10:15 a.m., firefighters still were cutting holes into the roof to ensure the fire was out.
An estimated 21 firefighters from Kennewick and Richland fire departments and Benton Fire District 1 responded. There were no injuries.
Two dogs in the home were kept in an SUV parked in front of the garage. A third smaller dog, said to be a Chihuahua, initially couldn't be found but was spotted running out of the house around 9:40 a.m.
Shortly after fire crews arrived, the property owner was seen running down the street past fire trucks. He didn't want to comment on the fire, because of the pending investigation.
He did, however, tell the Herald that the home recently had been remodeled with new sheetrock, hardwood floors, appliances and windows. He also said that he just spent $6,000 on rewiring the home and new plumbing was put in throughout.
The owner's friend was getting ready to move back into the house once the current tenants moved out, he said.
Yaden said circumstances between the tenant and property owner are considered as part of the investigation. The tenants also apparently had just requested more smoke alarms and indicated the alarm they had was faulty, Yaden said.
The home has been boarded up, and no one is being allowed inside until investigators can determine the cause, he said.
Fire damage to the home appeared to be limited to the back bedroom where the flames were, but the tenants already were being assisted by the Benton Franklin Chapter of the American Red Cross because of the extensive smoke damage throughout the home, Deputy Chief Leonard said.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; email@example.com