West Central explosion

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Monday, March 17, 2014 at 11:19 a.m.

Incident #: 2014013337

Issuing Officer: BC Green

Narrative: On Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 9:22 p.m., 7 Companies of Spokane Firefighters, 4 Engines, 1 Quint, 1 Ladder and 1 Heavy Rescue Unit under the direction of Battalion Chiefs Green and Fielder, responded to a reported structure fire at 1519 West Gardner Avenue in Spokane's West Central Neighborhood.

While the companies were responding, information was relayed from Fire Communication Specialists that callers were reporting an explosion and at least one person was confirmed injured. Hearing the update, the Battalion Chief reinforced the response with two AMR ambulances and an AMR Supervisor in anticipation of inured civilians. Ladder 4 arrived quickly and reported light smoke showing from the 11/2 story home and immediately entered the structure to search for victims. Upon entering the residence they encountered a critically injured victim and interior conditions that were described with moderate amount of smoke and extensive damage from a blast. Fearing a potential for a second device or possibility for a natural gas explosion, fire companies removed the victim and quickly completed a primary search for survivors on all floors. There was no sustained fire as a result of the explosion and one confirmed injury.

SFD Paramedics treated the adult male victim and he was subsequently transported to Sacred Heart via AMR urgently for burns and blast type injuries as a result of the explosion. His current condition is not known by the SFD.

Cause: The cause is currently under investigation jointly with the SPD and Fire Department's Special Investigation Unit.

Damage: Despite blast damage that was contained within the area of the suspected device, there did not appear to be any structural damage to the residence. As a result of the explosion and a need to secure utilities, re-occupation of the home was delayed until the Fire Investigators and Explosion Disposal Unit could systematically search the residence and ensure the occupant's safety and complete the investigation.

# Firefighters Responding: 23

Other Agencies Responding: Spokane Police Department, SPD EDU