SPOKANE, Wash. – Early Sunday morning, a fire gutted a home on the north side of Spokane. It happened in the 10700 block of Kensington Court around 1:30 a.m. near Whitworth University.
According to neighbors, it was a frantic situation early Sunday morning when the young man who lived there, returned home from work and discovered the fire.
The Spokane County Fire Department said the man first tried to open the front door in hopes of putting out the fire with a fire extinguisher. However, it was already too big at that point. He then knocked on neighbor's doors for help, but had a hard time explaining what was going on because he is deaf and mute. This also meant the man was not able to call 911 on his own.
The telephone inside his house was set up for a service called TTY, which stands for text telephone. This allows a person who is deaf to type messages back and forth over the phone. However, this is not a service he was able to use from his cell phone.
According to Crime Check, Spokane is working on a service that would let people text 911 instead of calling. The 911 text service is currently being tested on the East Coast, but is not yet an option for Spokane. Right now, they do not know how soon that service will be up and running in our area.
KHQ also learned that the young man's parents are in Europe, so no one was at home when the fire started. However, the family did have four cats, but firefighters were only able to rescue one from the home.
Firefighters believe the fire originated in the kitchen, however a cause is still unknown.