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Fire destroys Pasco duplex (w/video)

Paula Teal was cooking ravioli for dinner Monday when her neighbor pounded on the door and warned her to get out.

Her duplex on Road 32 near Court Street in Pasco was on fire.

"We didn't (have time) to grab anything,” said Teal, 35, who made it safely out with her 15-year-old daughter.

No one was hurt in the 4 p.m. blaze but the duplex was destroyed, said Pasco Fire Chief Greg Garcia.

The fire started in a plastic garbage can belonging to Teal's neighbors in the duplex, Garcia said. He didn't have their names.

Charcoal briquettes used in a barbecue the night before were placed in the garbage pail Monday afternoon, Garcia said.

The garbage can ignited and the fire spread up the wall. The blaze was under control in about 20 minutes, but the flames and smoke did extensive damage, Garcia said.

The fire left a large hole in the roof of the duplex, valued at $116,300 by the Franklin County Assessor's Office.

Teal and her family planned to stay with her mom Monday night. The other family also had relatives in town, Garcia said.

Firefighters were able to find two of Teal's cats, but the third one, Precious, was missing.

Teal said she was worried because Precious liked to hide in the cupboards of her rented home. A few minutes later, a firefighter walked out clutching the black-and-white feline.

Precious meowed loudly as Teal took her into her arms.

"Yeah!” Teal said. "(The cats) were all we wanted out of everything in the house.”

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