Spokane fire crews find ‘hoarder conditions’, human feces and 11 children in home in east central
SPOKANE, Wash – What began as a call for a backyard fire Sunday led Spokane firefighters to find 11 children living in deplorable conditions. That included six-foot piles of garbage and human feces throughout the home.
The call came in for a fire at 6th and Crestline just before noon on Sunday. The fire department’s report details what firefighters saw when they entered the home, which led them to believe the children were in danger.
Firefighters initially found eight children in the home between the ages of six months and 12 years old.
“The children were dirty,” the lieutenant wrote. “What clothing they had was in poor condition and dirty also. The children appeared malnourished. Several of the children were barely clothed.”
One firefighter’s narrative says that when he went into the home, he “immediately noticed living conditions that were unsafe, unhealthy and untenable for the children living there.” He reports finding “food, dog food, garbage, cigarette butts and animal feces throughout” the immediate living area.
Firefighters then describe finding a kitchen that had piles of dishes, garbage, old food and items stored on the stovetop, which they noted as a fire hazard.
“Again, the floor was covered in garbage and animal feces, and there was even feces spread on the wall in the kitchen,” the fire department report says.
In the bathroom of the home, the fire department found “what appeared to be human feces in the bathtub as well as more garbage on the floor.”
When firefighters moved to the backyard where the fire started, they found it covered in debris.
“There were multiple items here that could have harmed children [including] bare wiring, propane containers, garbage bags, broken glass, pieces of scrap metal and plastic with sharp edges,” the report says.
Firefighters also noted multiple electrical cords from an outside outlet, leading to what appeared to be a small camp trailer or tents.
The fire department also found bedrooms with no beds or dressers, so clothes were piled with other debris and garbage on the floor.
Fire crews called it “hoarder conditions” with piles of garbage up to six feet high.
The basement had “more piles of debris, clothes and garbage along the steps and covering the entirety of the basement.”
The investigator noted dangerous fire conditions and small egress areas that “in fire conditions would be detrimental to escape.”
That firefighter notified an incident commander that someone should intervene for the safety of the 11 children in the home.
First responders on the scene determined the children should all be taken to the hospital for evaluation.
Spokane Police released few details about the investigation, other than the fact the Special Victims Unit and Child Protective Services were looking into the matter.
As of Monday evening, Spokane Police said no one had been arrested or charged in connection with the case.
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