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Second suspicious fire hits North Spokane neighborhood

By Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 02 2013 08:16:42 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 02 2013 08:50:28 PM CST
SPOKANE, Wash. -

For the second time in four months a suspicious fire has destroyed side-by side duplexes in north Spokane.

Early Monday morning fire crews were called to the 2500 block of North Denver Street to a fully-engulfed house fire, right next door to a duplex that was intentionally set afire in August.

No one living in the neighborhood think it's a coincidence that both these fires have started in the car ports of the duplexes and then burned into the occupied homes exactly the same way.

The fire next door was already part of a criminal investigation while the home that burned Monday morning the scene of many past police department calls for service.

Spokane firefighters were already battling a blaze on North Stone when the call on Denver came in just after 5 a.m.

"First crew on scene had heavy fire showing from the backside of the structure and carport fire had gone into the apartment at that time," Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief Joel Fielder said.

The apartment went up so quickly a dog inside wasn't able to escape and radiant heat damaged a duplex just next door.

"It was right out my bedroom window. My windows were popping," resident Joyce Harvey said.

It's the second time this year Harvey awakened to the sounds of a raging fire and, in both cases, the fire was considered suspicious, leaving residents concerned for their safety.

"It really does make me nervous because my daughter and my two granddaughters live here with me," Harvey said.

After the fire cooled off Mako, an accelerant sniffing dog, worked the scene and investigators -- including an agent from the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- took samples Mako alerted on.

In the past year, police have received 20 calls for service at the location that burned Monday.

"To see this happen, we're not surprised at all. As a matter a fact it's probably a good day for us because there will not be as much activity in the neighborhood now," Harvey said.

People who live nearby think these suspicious fires are being set as a form of revenge.

"After the fire next door, extremely not surprised to see what happened here today," Harvey said.

An individual who guy the goes by the street name of Loki set the fire in August to get back at a woman who allegedly stole money from him, according to a search warrant. In that fire next door arson investigators have surveillance video of a white sedan and someone setting down a box that erupts with a flash.

The US Fire Administration reports that revenge or spite is the motive behind 33-percent of arson fires and the second highest cause of all residential fires.

The cause of Monday morning's fire is under investigation.

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