SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - It may seem obvious, but the Spokane Valley Fire Department has an important reminder: if your home catches fire, don't go back inside or crawl on the roof to put it out.
The SVFD responded to the 1500 block of North Grady Rd Wednesday night where a mobile home had caught fire. Homeowners reported they were heating cooking oil and left the room. After hearing a smoke detector, they went back into the kitchen to see large flames coming off the stove.
"I have never seen so many fire trucks in my life around here," said Alicia Wickham, who lives across the street. She was in bed when her neighbor started pounding on the door asking for a fire extinguisher.
That neighbor then ran across the street to the burning home, and handed one of the residents Wickham's fire extinguisher. That man was determined to save the home, and wasn't about to wait for fire crews to arrive.
"Some guys just don't think very well I guess," Wickham said, laughing.
The man took the fire extinguisher and went back inside the burning home. When that didn't work, he climbed on the roof.
"He was up on the roof trying to get the flames, trying to fight it," Wickham said. "And you know, not many guys will do that. Somebody could have been hurt or killed, so yeah, he shouldn't have been doing that."
The fire department said the man was unsuccessful in both attempts. One ladder, two engines and 20 firefighters eventually controlled the flames.
According to the fire department, the kitchen and living room suffered extensive damage but back bedrooms were practically untouched because their doors were closed.
SVFD officials say no one should ever re-enter a burning home or climb on the roof -- fires can spread rapidly and it's easy to be overcome by heat and smoke.
Smoke detectors inside the home were put in by the fire department in October. If you live in Spokane Valley, fire crews will come and install smoke detectors free of charge. Residents can call 928-1700 during normal business hours to schedule an appointment.
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