Saturday fire forces Walla Walla family from home

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WALLA WALLA - A fire caused more than $100,000 in damage and left the family forced to live elsewhere.

The fire broke out at 222 Stanton St. just after noon Saturday. According to a sheriff's deputy who arrived first, flames were visible when he arrived.

The occupants of the house, which is owned by Whitman College, evacuated without injury. But firefighters had to rescue their two cats, and at one point ventilated the cats with oxygen.

A private party took the cats to a local veterinarian; firefighters said the last report was that both cats were recovering.

Investigators said the fire started because of a clean-out door on a lit fireplace that was left open, which resulted in hot ash landing on the floor of the basement. The fire then spread through the basement and to the kitchen above.

The structural damage was estimated at $100,000, with another $25,000 in damage to contents.

Whitman College and the Red Cross are said to be assisting the family with temporary housing and other needs.

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