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The Spokane County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the body of an adult woman was found in a Medical Lake home following a fire early Tuesday morning.
The Sheriff's Office says investigators are on scene trying to determine how the person died. Arson investigators are also on scene.
The fire happened at a home near Barker and Stanley. The fire was reported just after midnight and caused the roof of the home to collapse completely.
“I stood and watched for two hours,” said Greg Thompson who lives across the street. “Sometimes it [smoke] would be lighter and I would look at it and it looked like it was going out, then it would flare up again with black billowing smoke.”
Firefighters had to go into defensive mode when they arrived on scene and just let the fire burn out.
In addition to the fire and smoke, firefighters efforts to enter the home was hampered due to the large amount of debris in and around the residence, according to the Sheriff’s office.
It was after the flames were extinguished that the body of an adult woman was found. Her identity has not yet been officially released.
Emergency crews say excessive clutter is a complex problem with potentially devastating ramifications not just for hoarders but also for those around them.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to firefighters fighting fires and responding to other emergencies in these homes and to residents and neighbors.
A neighbor KHQ talked to said the homeowner drove away and was not home at the time of the fire. Firefighters initially believed the home was abandoned.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the victim has not yet been identified.
(story & photos: KHQ.com)