Wash. Firefighter's Wife Saves Kids from Fire

Her husband was on duty when he heard the call, and was relieved to head home.


Feb. 19--The wife of a firefighter rescued her three sleeping children Tuesday night from the couple's burning home in the Ponderosa neighborhood of Spokane Valley.

Rachelle Flatt suffered burns and was treated at a hospital. Her husband, Pete Flatt, a firefighter with District 8, was on duty when the alarm sounded at the nearby fire station.

She noticed flames on the back patio and called 911 just after 9:30 Tuesday night. Flames reached a propane tank attached to the outside grill before she could reach her children.

The tank's valve blew open and shattered a set of patio doors and pushed flames into the house, said Assistant Fire Chief Greg Godfrey.

Flatt first grabbed the oldest child, a 6-year-old boy. She ran back into the burning home for her two girls, a 3-year-old and an infant.

The fire singed her hair and burned her ears while she rescued the baby from her crib in the back bedroom.

A cat escaped the fire but the family dog was killed.

She was treated for her burns and smoke inhalation at Sacred Heart Medical Center overnight and released Wednesday morning, Godfrey said.

Pete Flatt heard the fire call over his radio and was released from his duties to respond to the scene, Godfrey said. Damage to the house is estimated at $100,000. The home was insured.

Copyright 2014 - The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.