Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002
Monday, August 5, 2013 at 4:49 p.m.
Narrative: On Monday, August 5, 2013 at 4:49 p.m., 6 Companies of Spokane Firefighters, 4 Engines, 1 Senior Ladder and 1 Heavy Rescue under the direction of Battalion Chiefs Donahoe and Moline, responded to an explosion and resulting fire at 3704 West Olympic Avenue in Northwest Spokane. Spokane Firefighters arrived quickly to find a single family home heavily involved in fire and beginning to extend to a two-car garage and neighboring home to the west. First arriving companies were met by floor refinisher workers that explained they were applying a petroleum based lacquer on the floors in the home when a pilot light ignited the fumes causing an immediate explosion and resulting fire. The worker confirmed that the home was unoccupied and that the workers were all accounted for. The fire was fueled by highly flammable chemicals and created extreme fire behavior for the first alarm companies. The incident was subsequently upgraded to a working fire adding additional resources to assist in the efforts to contain the fire's progress. The fire was brought under control in 45 minutes and was successfully contained to the home of origin and firefighters prevented extension to the adjacent buildings. Despite the heavy amount of damage from the blast and fire, there were no injuries.
Cause: The official cause of the fire remains under investigation by the SIU.
Damage: As a result of the explosion and fire the structure is deemed untenable. Assisting the two residents in their need for temporary housing were staff from the City's Housing Department and volunteers from the American Red Cross.
# Firefighters Responding: 24
Dollar Loss: $100,000
Other Agencies Responding: Spokane Police Department