Downtown high rise fire

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 7:53 p.m.

Incident #: 2014000717

Issuing Officer: Bruce Moline/Battalion Chief

Narrative: On January 4th, 2014 at 4:42 P.M. the Spokane Fire Department responded to a report of an alarm system activated in the Wells Fargo Building located at 601 W. 1st Ave in downtown Spokane. Fire crews from Station 1 at Riverside and Browne responded and found a significant odor of smoke on the 15th floor of the High Rise building. The call was immediately upgraded to a full response bringing additional units from the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. An offensive strategy was put in place which organized crews into search teams and fire attack teams. Some occupants who were working in the building were able to self-evacuate and make their way to safety on the street below.

After searching floor by floor with their thermal imaging cameras, crews were able to pinpoint the fire to an electrical box on the 15th floor. A smoke detector, as a part of the alarm system, successfully detected the fire in the ductwork of the air handling system and sent the alarm in and, at the same time, shut the ventilation system down. As a result of this, the fire was discovered early and the smoke damage was minimal. Fire crews remained on the scene making sure the fire did not extend past the electrical box and ventilated what smoke remained on the 15th floor. At this time, the fire appears to be caused by an electrical transformer responsible for 12 volt track lighting. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters and the fire was declared contained and stabilized after one hour.

Cause: Possibly due to a transformer issue as a part of a 12 volt track lighting circuit.

Damage: Extensive damage to the electrical box and associated wiring.

# Firefighters Responding: 25

Dollar Loss: $ 5,000

Other Agencies Responding: Avista Company