Cd’A home fire deemed accidental

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Fire investigators walk among the rubble of a house fire at the 3700 block of Sky Harbor outside of Coeur d’Alene. The fire was snuffed within two hours, leaving the home’s upper portion charred and mostly collapsed, while the lower portion — a daylight basement — was water damaged. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

Fire investigators in Coeur d’Alene have determined the cause of a fire that occurred on Nov. 28 on Sky Harbor Drive was accidental.

“The homeowners believed the fire may have started on the exterior of the home due to the barbecue being left on overnight,” said a Coeur d’Alene Fire Department news release. “The owners’ barbecue is plumbed to natural gas, so it had an unlimited supply of fuel.”

Investigators confirmed the fire began as the homeowners, Chuck and Kristi Mendoza, suspected. The fire started outside the home near the barbecue grill and then ignited the exterior of the house and extended into the home.

Although the home did have working smoke detectors inside, the detectors did not alarm until the fire had breached the exterior and was already well developed.

The homeowners and their children were able to escape the home unharmed. However, the family’s two dogs did not make it out. Firefighters and fire investigators searched the home for the dogs but they were not found until the home cleanup finally began.

“Your Coeur d’Alene Fire Department reminds everyone to have an emergency escape plan from your home and to practice your escape plan at least twice a year,” said the release. “Make sure to include your pets in practicing your escape plan but please never go back into a burning building for your pets. Working smoke detectors in the home are the most effective way to be notified of a fire.”

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