By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
A family of eight was displaced by a fire that heavily damaged a Centralia home early Wednesday morning.
The fire was first reported at 12:45 a.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of South King Street, according to 911 reports.
The owner of the home, George Page, lives across the street. He told The Chronicle he woke in the middle of the night to see flames coming from the rental home.
“My bedroom’s right by the street and I heard people talking,” he said. “I got up to see what was going on … and I saw, it looked like a light was in the back yard.”
Page investigated further and saw the house was on fire.
“I came into the living room and then I saw the flames coming out of the back of the house,” he said.
Assistant Chief Rick Mack, of the Riverside Fire Authority, said the fire originated in the home’s laundry room. Fire damage was largely confined to that room, but the rest of the house was heavily damaged by smoke.
Page confirmed that report.
“It’s pretty trashed … especially the back half. The laundry room and the kitchen are just burned really bad,” he said.
Mack also reported that a family of eight living in the home has been displaced.
Page said the family’s son, sleeping in a back bedroom, woke to find the laundry dryer was on fire and alerted the rest of the family.
Mack said the home had working smoke alarms. The family got out of the house before fire crews arrived.
The fire is the second serious house fire in two weeks in Centralia. On Feb. 8, a fire at a home in the 400 block of South Oak Street destroyed one home and seriously damaged another.
Five members of a family were hospitalized, three of whom were taken to the Harborview Medical Center burn unit in Seattle. Seven residents of the home next door, all part of the same extended family, were also displaced.
The cause of the Oak Street fire has not yet been determined.