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Smoke alarm gets family out in time


A working smoke detector is credited with avoiding a bigger fire, as it allowed for getting a blaze under control at a mobile home at 904 King Street in Grand Coulee last Thursday evening.

Volunteer Fire Chief Richard Paris said it appeared the fire started in an electrical connection on the underside of the trailer.

Firefighters responded to the alarm at 7:10 p.m. and were able to leave the site within 45 minutes.

The trailer resident and a neighbor were able to turn off the power and use a garden hose to knock the blaze down.

The trailer was occupied by Jerilyn Ratcliff/Capshaw and family, according to Paris, and was owned by Steve Harrington.

“We were very grateful they found the fire when they did while it was small so we did not have another major mobile home fire,” Paris said.

Two other mobile homes have burned to a total loss in Grand Coulee this year, in January and April.

Fire crews found smoke coming from under the trailer and were able to finish extinguishing the blaze. Fire damage was confined to the underside of the trailer with smoke damage to the interior; there was no damage to surrounding properties.

Paris stated that the structure was insured by the owner, but it was not clear if the renters were insured.

The working smoke alarm was the initial alarm, and Paris emphasized that working smoke detectors are very important, as the King Street fire made evident.

Crews responded from the Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department with a total of nine firefighters, two EMTs, three fire engines and one police officer, who set up traffic control.

A short time after the blaze was extinguished, the residents received a motel voucher through a program set up by churches in the area.


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