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Homicide investigation underway in mobile home fire deaths

By Casey Lund, Good Morning Northwest Reporter, caseyl@kxly.com
Published On: Jul 22 2013 05:23:05 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 22 2013 08:45:55 PM CDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives are investigating the deaths of two people in a mobile home fire Monday morning as a homicide.

The fire happened just after 12 a.m. at the Cascade Mobile Home Park, located at 2311 W. 16th off Highway 195. Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters discovered two bodies inside the residence. Major Crimes detectives responded to the scene and discovered a gun at the scene.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on both people to determine their causes of death.

The fire department raced to the scene after a neighbor called 9-1-1 just after 12 a.m. but the fire was so hot there was little they could do except for protect the surrounding homes. After the fire died down the bodies were found inside the residence. Neighbors say the two people, who have not been identified yet, were well-liked and always willing to help.

"I feel like I want to vomit. I … I don't know. I feel horrible," Paula Hanes said.

Hanes lives across the street and it was her son who made the call to 9-1-1. She and other neighbors are unsettled by the loss of two very involved community members

"Even before we found out they were in there we were afraid that they were in there, I have just been sick to my stomach waiting for some word," Hanes said.

"We could see the glow in the skies so we knew we had a significant fire, so the crews were prepared to initiate search immediately and attempt to make any rescues they could but unfortunately in this situation in this case we weren't able to do that," Steve Sabo with the Spokane Fire Department said.

"I think by the time the fire department got here it was engulfed already," Hanes said.

The fire did so much damage to the mobile home investigators had to bring in lumber and other special equipment in before they could enter.

"We had to use an excavator to secure the building because there was a possibility of collapse," Spokane Major Crimes Detective Lieutenant Mark Griffiths said.          

For neighbors and friends that knew the two people living here, the tragedy of what happened is slowly setting in

"They were both really nice people and they helped me out a lot and I think everybody that knew them loved them," Hanes said.

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