Money is being raised for a couple displaced by a fire Thursday that destroyed their Poplar Street home and critically injured the woman.

People can donate at Umpqua Bank by requesting the money go to the fire fund for Chip and Denise Lowell, a bank spokeswoman told the U-B this morning.

Denise was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where staff told the U-B on Friday she was in critical condition. Today, officials said she was in serious condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.

The Lowells were home at 622 Poplar St. when the blaze erupted at around 2:30 a.m. The cause of the fire was undetermined, according to a city news release, but it started in the backyard.

Walla Walla and College Place fire departments and Walla Walla County Fire District 4 responded. It took more than two hours to put out the blaze, according to Jennifer Scott, a Walla Walla Fire Department spokeswoman. The fire was extinguished at 4:43 a.m.

Walla Walla police arrived before firefighters, forced their way inside and rescued Chip, but Denise was in a back bedroom, reports stated. Firefighters found her after about 15 minutes, and medics began resuscitating her before taking her to Providence St. Mary Medical Center, according to a city news release.

The amount of damage was unknown.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.

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