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Duplex Fire Under Investigation


Fire investigators will be searching for clues to a duplex fire that happened Saturday morning in Yakima.

Firefighters had to rescue two men, one of whom was in a wheelchair. Yakima firefighters say five people were sent to the hospital four were treated and released. One man was in stable condition Sunday.

The fire was reported at about 6:00 a.m. Saturday in the 1700 block of Monroe Avenue. When firefighters arrived, one half of the duplex was already on fire and neighbors were telling firefighters two men were still inside. Lt. Joe Chinco ran inside the burning duplex and found the two men in a basement. One man ran out while Chinco dragged the man in the wheelchair to safety. That man was reported in stable condition at a Yakima hospital on Sunday. No identities have been released.

Fire investigators say they don’t know what caused the fire. They’ll be back at work trying to come up with answers today.

The Red Cross was on the scene with volunteers ready to help 15 people who lost everything in a matter of hours. “Initially we show up and provide emotional support because people are not sure what to do. It can be really overwhelming to see your life go up in flames,” said Red Cross volunteer, Jenny Carkner.

The Red Cross in Yakima came to the fire knowing there was work to be done.”We help everyone. It does not matter what insurance you have, or if you are a home owner or renter, the services The Red Cross provides is for everyone,” Carkner said.

Volunteers are making sure those residents have a place to stay, clothes on their backs and food to eat. Carkner said in this situation they offered everything they could.

“We offered to open up a shelter to house people, because we do not know how many people are effected,” Carkner said.

Firefighters said the main thing people can do to prevent this from happening is to make sure everything in your house is working to warn you.

“Check your smoke detectors. Those are the lifesavers here,” said Yakima Fire Captain, Tom Schneider.

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