$n$ Fire damages garage at Walla Walla home

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WALLA WALLA -- A garage fire Thursday afternoon had firefighters worried at least one person was trapped inside, but it turned out to be a repairman trying to put out the flames, officials said.

The fire was called in at 2:56 p.m. at 2121 Leonard Drive.

When firefighters arrived, they were alerted that College Place Heating and Air Conditioning repairman Hector Cobian was inside the garage. Firefighters were uncertain if Cobian was trapped because the garage door was shut, officials said.

Cobian had been working on the furnace inside the house when a neighbor alerted him of the fire, officials said.

Cobian tried to put out the fire with a garden hose when firefighters from District 4 arrived, followed closely by Walla Walla Fire Department crews.

Cobian got our of the garage and crews extinguished the fire in nine minutes, officials said.

Damage to the structure was estimated at $3,000.

Investigators said the cause was smoking materials left in a garbage can in the garage.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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