Crime

Updated: Fire destroys Richland home, burns man, kills dog (w/video)

Kimberly Copus, left, 35, of Richland, talks to neighbor Michelle Brooks about clothing sizes in the wake of an early morning Thursday fire that destroyed Copus' home at 1615 McPherson Ave. Copus' husband Gregory Baker, 46, suffered burns on 40 percent of his body while trying to rescue the couple's Chihuahua, 2-year-old Roscoe. The dog died in the fire.
Kimberly Copus, left, 35, of Richland, talks to neighbor Michelle Brooks about clothing sizes in the wake of an early morning Thursday fire that destroyed Copus' home at 1615 McPherson Ave. Copus' husband Gregory Baker, 46, suffered burns on 40 percent of his body while trying to rescue the couple's Chihuahua, 2-year-old Roscoe. The dog died in the fire. Tri-City Herald

An early-morning fire in Richland destroyed part of a home and burned a 46-year-old man who was at home with his wife, according to fire officials.

The fire started shortly after 3 a.m. on the 1600 block of McPherson Ave., said Brenda Rodgers, battalion chief. Flames engulfed a living room and shot out of the house.

The couple were able to get out of the house and the man was burned on his arm, possibly when he went back to rescue the family dog, a Chihuahua named Roscoe, officials said. The dog died in the fire.

Gregory Baker was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland with burns over 40 percent of his body, said his wife Kimberly Copus. He refused to be taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as he wanted to remain close to home and his family, his wife said.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire.

Fire crews were able to get control of the blaze not too long after arriving on scene, Rodgers said.

“Actually it was a quicker knock down than expected because of the size of the fire,” she said.

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