Pullman (WA) Police Officer Grazed by Exploding Ammunition at House Fire

Crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to the other side of the townhouse.

Emma Epperly

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

(MCT)

Oct. 21—A Pullman police officer was grazed by a bullet as ammunition exploded in a house fire Thursday morning.

Just before 7 a.m., residents of 1232 Lost Trail Drive heard their smoke detector go off. They evacuated the home and called 911, according to a fire department statement. Fire crews arrived a short time later to find the townhouse engulfed in flames.

Neighbors said they heard a popping sound then looked out their window to see the flames. An officer who responded to the blaze was hit by exploding ammunition coming from the home, the fire department said.

He was treated at the scene and declined any further medical attention, according to the department.

The fire appeared to have started in the garage then moved up to the first and second floors, firefighters said. Crews rescued a cat from the home and gave it oxygen, which the animal responded to well. While crews were putting out hotspots later in the day, they found another cat dead.

Crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to the other side of the townhouse, according to the fire department.

Pullman fire marshal Chris Wehrung said a battery charger in the garage was the cause of the fire.

The residence was a total loss along with two vehicles and a motorcycle in the garage. The fire marshal estimated the damage to be around $500,000.

The family is receiving aid from the American Red Cross and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, where the owner worked, according to the fire department. The adjoining townhouse was deemed safe to occupy by a city building inspector.

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