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House fire fought in Coulee Dam


Firefighters douse flames and cool off surfaces to keep them from spreading as a Coulee Dam house burns Friday. - Scott Hunter photo

A woman's home in east Coulee Dam caught fire Friday evening, drawing a quick response from every local fire department.

Susan Lynch's house at 611 Birch Street drew 11 fire engines, first responder vehicles and ambulances when the call went out at 6:10 p.m.

"People keep telling me it can all be replaced," Lynch said, watching firefighters answer with torrents of water flames coming from inside her home, "but it can't."

Lynch said photos and annuals can't be replaced, and she worried whether her angelfish in a 55-gallon aquarium might survive.

As she stood in her slippers speaking with a reporter, another woman walked up, dropped off a bag of clothes, then turned and walked away. Neighbors comforted Lynch, whose daughter was coming from another city to help.

Coulee Dam Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brian Warnecke said many items were salvaged, but he couldn't say how the fire started. He said Lynch had insurance on the home; he could not say whether the company will investigate the fire.

Warnecke praised the "very fast response" from all local fire departments. A Bureau of Reclamation truck arrived first, followed by a Coulee Dam engine. Grand Coulee, Electric City and Okanogan County Fire District 2 also sent engines.

"That was great for the community," Warnecke said.

He said all local departments have been doing extra training to make better of the volunteers available.

The fire flared up again early Saturday morning, and firefighters had to find the source of smoke in the attack.

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