A house fire in northeast Spokane took the life of a 66-year-old man who was terminally ill and on hospice care.
In fact he was on oxygen, which likely played a role in the fire, though the cause is still being investigated.
Firefighters raced to the house fire, located in the 3400 block of Marietta Avenue but, sadly there was little they could do. When they arrived around 8 a.m. Friday the house was engulfed in flames and they knew there was likely no chance of saving the structure or anyone who may be inside. That's when they found the body of 66-year-old Clarence Green.
Paul Grishk lives just across the street from Green's home and came outside when he overheard a crowd gathering.
"All the people are now calling 911 and stuff like that, and there was a big group of people over here and the next thing you see is the glass shatter open and a big ball of flames, it was pretty scary and then the car alarms go off," he said.
"When the first fire crews arrived they concentrated their efforts on protecting the home just to the west of it because the fire was moving that direction and was already melting the siding of the house," Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.
Green was a smoker and also received hospice care in his home. Oxygen was part of his treatment and that deadly combination is likely what caused the explosion and fire. However, Assistant Fire Chief Schaeffer said a full investigation into the fire will be done to confirm the cause.
"We'll do everything we can for them and try and make this as quick as possible in terms of the investigation so we can help them move forward," he said.
"I knew him as a neighbor. I would always see him going to his truck, driving by our house. It's a really big bummer, its pretty sad," Grishk said.