Woman found dead after Walla Walla apartment fire

Yvonne Clauson was discovered by firefighters responding to an apartment blaze on North Spokane Street.

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WALLA WALLA - A city woman died Wednesday afternoon after a fire in her North Spokane Street apartment, officials said.

Yvonne Clauson was pronounced dead at Walla Walla General Hospital after the 27-year-old was discovered by fire crews in her apartment.

City firefighters responded to a fire in an apartment at a Walla Walla Housing Authority apartment complex at 204 N. Spokane St. on Wednesday just before 3 p.m., according to Fire Chief Bob Yancey.

Yancey said the fire was confined to Apartment 17, occupied by Clauson, and likely started in the bedroom.

"The smoke was very thick, and clear to the ground," Yancey said, adding fire crews discovered Clauson lying face-down in the living area of the apartment.

"We haven't determined a cause yet," Yancey said, adding the Fire Department is working with city police to establish a time line for the fire.

Witnesses reported seeing a male visitor leave the apartment some time before the fire, according to Yancey, and other residents of the apartment complex remembered hearing a smoke alarm in the apartment.

"There are some people of interest we are trying to track down," Yancey said.

The fire, according to Yancey, was confined mainly to the bedroom of the apartment, and other units in the complex suffered only minor smoke damage.

Damage to the apartment is estimated at $24,0000, including damage to the contents.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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