Officials identify Moscow woman who died following residential fire

The Moscow Volunteer Fire Department identified Arlene K. Willenborg-Cowin, 66, as the woman who died Tuesday afternoon at Gritman Medical Center from injuries she sustained during a residential fire that started around 10 a.m. Tuesday on the 1000 block of Camas Street.

According to a news release from the city of Moscow on Wednesday, MVFD found Willenborg-Cowin alone and unresponsive in her home with suspected smoke inhalation.

MVFD Chief Brian Nickerson said the fire appears to have been accidental in nature and to have originated in a plastic trash receptical in the kitchen. The blaze then quickly spread to several nearby cabinets and other flammable objects, which created “heavy smoke conditions” that fire officials encountered upon entry.

Nickerson said MVFD has also determined the home’s smoke detectors were fully operational at the time of the fire, however, they were located inside closed bedroom areas.

MFVD responded to the scene at 9:49 a.m., according to the release. The first engine arrived at 9:52 a.m. and was met with smoke coming from the eaves of the residence. When the engine crew entered the residence, they performed a search, finding Willenborg-Cowin and three dogs in the residence.

Police Capt. Roger Lanier said the dogs – a retriever and two boxers – escaped through a doggy door into the garage and remained unharmed. They were taken to the Humane Society of the Palouse.

Olivia Heersink can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @heersinkolivia

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