Adult found dead inside Cheney-area house fire

Adult found dead inside Cheney-area house fire

UPDATE: (4/26): The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died in the fire as 68-year-old Ralph Pickel. Pickel died of smoke inhalation and burns.

UPDATE: Spokane Fire District 3 Chief Cody Rohrbach confirmed around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday morning that an adult had been found dead inside the home.

Crews on the scene said they believed there was only one person inside.

Original Story:

Fire crews from Spokane and Cheney are working on a house fire near Salnave Rd. and Graham Rd. in the Cheney area, just off the Salnave exit of I-90.

Someone passing by called to report the fire at 6:40 a.m. Tuesday. Flames and black smoke can still be seen coming from the home.

Crews say they have had reports that someone is inside the home, or was when the fire started, but have not been able to confirm that. They’ve been searching the home for an hour and have not found signs of anyone inside.

SFD Division Chief Dustin Flock said they will continue to search the home and offensively attack the fire. There is no concern for other structures in the area, but crews are asking people to avoid the area.

Spokane Fire District 3 is the lead agency, but Cheney fire also sent an engine to help.