KENNEWICK — A fire that started in a storage shed at a Kennewick apartment complex left a family of five in need of help.
Officials with the Benton-Franklin Chapter of the American Red Cross said the family, which recently immigrated here from Iraq, lost everything in the Friday night fire at The Village at Volland, 4321 W. Hood Ave.
The fire started in the storage shed between two units and caused major damage to the family's apartment, said Kim Overby, the Red Cross' disaster action team coordinator.
Another unit, where two male Cuban refugees were living, also was smoke damaged. The men had to move out of the unit because the power was shut off, but Overby said she thought the residents were able to get items from their home.
The apartment complex actually had two vacant units available so the tenants were immediately put into new apartments, said manager MaryAnne Rogers.
Overby said the Red Cross tried to get in touch with the family Friday night, but a friend said they were OK since they had a place to stay. "We would have put them up in a hotel, but they choose to sleep on the floor in an empty apartment," Overby said.
She said the family has three children, ages 2, 4 and 9, and the 4-year-old has Down syndrome. The Red Cross provided some money to the family for clothes.
Donations can be provided to the family by contacting the Red Cross at 783-6195. Donations cannot be left at the Red Cross office.
Richland man arrested after alleged assault
RICHLAND — A 24-year-old Benton City man is said to be unconscious with skull fractures after being hit in the head with a hammer, authorities said.
Robert Schmidt was at a social gathering in the 1500 block of Wright Avenue in Richland when he was hit by James Herting, 25, of Richland, said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb.
There's apparently been bad blood between the two after they got into a confrontation 18 months ago, and both were at the Richland home of a mutual friend late Thursday, Cobb said.
Herting hit Schmidt at least once with his fist and then a second time with a hammer or some type of tool, Cobb said.
Schmidt's injuries were "pretty significant," but he was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland by a friend who reportedly did not want to get the police involved, Cobb said.
The assault was reported the next morning by Schmidt's sister who said his condition was grave, Cobb said. Officers don't know the extent of Schmidt's injuries because of federal medical privacy laws, but Cobb said as of Monday morning they were told Schmidt was not conscious.
Monday evening, Schmidt was listed in satisfactory condition, hospital officials said.
Investigators arrested Herting on Friday. He was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of second-degree assault.
Walla Walla prison units locked down after fight
WALLA WALLA — Two units at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla were locked down Sunday night after a fight involving about 50 inmates. No serious injuries have been reported.
The fight was in the entrance to an area called the G Unit as the prisoners were returning from an outdoor recreation area. The fight was between two prisoners, but quickly escalated to include nearly 50, said prison spokeswoman Shari Hall.
Nine corrections officers received minor injuries, she said.
A second unit called the F Unit which operates in the same quadrant, also was locked down as a precaution. The units involved in the lockdown house high-risk prisoners, many who have gang-affiliations.
The lockdown gives staff time to investigate the cause of the fight.
Wreckage of plane spotted in Oregon
PENDLETON — The missing plane and body of the pilot have been found near Indian Lake, about 34 miles southeast of Pendleton on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
A crew with the Civil Air patrol spotted the wreckage of the plane missing since Sunday.
Several agencies from the local area helped search for the plane that left Walla Walla at 9:30 a.m. and was headed to Enterprise, Ore.
There were no other passengers on board. The pilot was identified as Enterprise dentist Bruce Cummings, who has owned Wallowa Valley Dental Clinic since 2001, according to the Wallowa County Chieftain.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Police are working to recover the body, said a news release from Umatilla County Emergency Management.
Umatilla Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, Stanfield fire officials and the Civil Air Patrol from Walla Walla and the Oregon National Guard helped with the search.
Mattawa man killed in shooting Sunday
MATTAWA — A man is dead after a shooting in Grant County on Sunday evening.
Grant County sheriff's officials are investigating the death but have little information about the man who died.
Undersheriff John Turley said in a news release that neighbors heard several gunshots about 6:30 p.m. at the Riverview Trailer Park, lot 23, in Mattawa.
Deputies found the man, who is Hispanic and believed to be in his early 20s, outside the mobile home with a gunshot wound.
He lived there with some roommates, who had little information about his identity and did not know who shot him. But they told deputies he was not involved in gangs or drugs, said Turley.
Mattawa Police Chief Steve Jensen asked the sheriff's office for help investigating the death.
Walla Walla fire destroys woodworking shop
WALLA WALLA — An early-morning fire destroyed a Walla Walla woodworking shop Monday.
Walla Walla fire crews responded to the fire just after 1 a.m. and found flames through the roof of Bechtel's Woodworking and Stain Shop, said Walla Walla Deputy Fire Chief Brad Morris.
The shop was attached to the back of a building that belongs to the same business, he said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Fire crews from College Place Fire Department and Walla Walla Fire District 4 helped battle the blaze, which was under control about 40 minutes later. Damage is estimated at $290,000, including about $210,000 worth of contents, Morris said.