The cause of the blaze that destroyed a Whitstran home Sunday remains under investigation.
Benton County sheriff's detectives were expected Monday to go to the house at the corner of Foisy and Pioneer roads to try to determine what sparked the fire, officials said.
Firefighters from Benton Fire District 3 in Prosser were called at 10 a.m. Sunday. When the first crews arrived, part of the building was already collapsing from the fire, said Capt. Josh Smith.
"Half the structure was fully involved and was extending to the other half of the house," Smith told the Herald. "Due to the involvement, we were unable to make an offensive attack."
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Crews set up outside the home and focused on keeping the flames from spreading, he said.
"We had to concentrate on not allowing that fire to cause a wildland fire," Smith said. "Once we got the fire under control, we eliminated that possibility."
No one was home when the fire started.
Firefighters were on scene for about four hours. Crews from Yakima Fire District 5, Hanford fire and Benton fire districts 2 and 4 also helped.
Diver still missing
A diver who went missing Sunday in the Columbia River near Mattawa still hadn't been located Monday.
Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said searchers will continue looking for the man's body today with help from the Seattle Police Department's Harbor Patrol.
"I can only imagine what this man's family must be going through, and I continue to pray for them," Jones said.
The man's name has not been released out of respect for his family, Jones said.
Authorities began searching at 2:45 p.m. Sunday. Initial reports indicated the man was from out of the area and was doing some recreational diving, but never resurfaced, authorities said.
Grant County Marine Unit deputies searched the river and called for help from Franklin County sheriff's SARbot, a remote-controlled underwater search and rescue robot.
On Monday, the search continued and also included help from Grant County sheriff's Search and Rescue divers and Grant Fire District 8 staff.
Pasco man arrested for alleged attempted robbery
A 41-year-old Pasco man was arrested after allegedly trying to steal a woman's purse at a West Richland car wash.
The victim was getting her car washed at a business on Van Giesen Street around 4:15 p.m. Friday when she was confronted by a man who wanted her purse, said West Richland Police Chief Brian McElroy.
The woman refused and yelled for someone to call the police, he said.
An anonymous bystander called 911 as the suspect, later identified as Jeremy Rodriguez, drove away, McElroy said.
The 911 caller was able to get a license plate number of Rodriguez's vehicle, and officers spotted it a short time later on Highway 240.
Four people in the car were initially detained during the traffic stop, McElroy said. Rodriguez was then identified as the suspect and arrested.
When the vehicle was searched, an Airsoft pistol was found inside, he said.
Rodriguez was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery.
Farm employee hurt by combine
A 51-year-old employee of a Prosser-area farm was seriously hurt when a combine he was on rolled over, authorities said.
The incident happened at 7 p.m. Friday on a commercial family farm along Case Road in the northwest end of the county, said Benton County sheriff's Lt. Chuck Jones.
Greggory Richards was driving the combine up a hill when it apparently lost power and rolled backward, Jones said. Richards jumped from the harvester and was either hit by it or run over, he said.
Richards was flown to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, where he was listed in critical condition Monday.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org