WENATCHEE — A Wenatchee man and his dog are safe today after being trapped in a basement apartment that was on fire Friday afternoon.
Authories said Benjamin Arthur, 40, called RiverCom at 3:52 p.m. and reported he and his dog were inside in the basement at 322 Malaga Ave. He told dispatchers that the handle of his door was too hot to touch, so dispatchers advised him not to open the door.
Wenatchee Fire Capt. Brian Brett said when firefighters arrived, they went into the basement to find the man and his dog near a window well. Firefighers from Wenatchee, Chelan County Fire District 1 and Douglas County Fire District 2 worked to extinguish the fire, and check the rest of the smoke-filled two-story apartment building for occupants.
Brett said while other firefighters in the basement were battling the blaze, he told the man to step out of the window, but he refused. “I think he wanted to go back to get something,” Brett said.
Police then pulled him through the window, he said.
He said had the man gone back, he likely would have been injured, and possibly killed.
Brett said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but it does not appear suspicious.
He estimated damages at $15,000.
Despite being prevented from going back into his apartment, Brett said, “He’s very thankful. He thanked everyone afterward.”