Officials are investigating whether a fire that forced a woman and her dog from their Kennewick home was set intentionally. Marcella Rogers and her dog were able to escape the fire, which started Monday night at their home at 411 W First Ave., said Kennewick Deputy Fire Chief Mark Yaden. The fire is believed to have started on the back porch.
“Where it stands right now is that we are considering it a suspicious fire,” Yaden said Tuesday.
The cause is undetermined, though there are no obvious signs it was accidentally started, Yaden said.
Rogers’ dog alerted her to the fire about 9:30 p.m. by barking. Both were able to get out of the house and Rogers called 911. “The dog notified her by barking at the glow of the fire,” Yaden said. “A neighbor discovered the fire too because of the dog barking.”
When crews from the Kennewick Fire Department arrived four minutes later, flames were shooting 20 feet into the air, Yaden said. The back porch was engulfed and the fire was spreading into the kitchen. Crews were able to control the fire quickly and keep it from spreading throughout the home, Yaden said. Firefighters from the Pasco Fire Department and Benton Fire District 1 assisted.
About 30 percent of Rogers’ home was damaged, including extensive damage to the porch and roof, Yaden said. Inside, there was minimal fire and smoke damage. Rogers and the dog — who were the only two home at the time of the fire — are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross, Yaden said. Officials are asking for the public’s help to try to identify how the fire started. Anyone with information can call the Kennewick Police Department at 509-628-0333 or the fire marshal at 509-528-8374.
This is the fourth suspicious fire to be investigated in Kennewick in recent weeks. Investigators do not believe any of the fires are connected, Yaden said.
One of the fires, initially thought to be set intentionally at 4457 S. Palouse St., was recently ruled an accidental fire.