Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002
Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 12:34 a.m.
Narrative: On Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 7:55 p.m. the Spokane Fire Department, Spokane International Airport firefighters, and Fire District 10 responded to a reported plane that had an on board fire in a cargo hold area. The plane returned to Spokane International Airport shortly after takeoff due to the discovery of an alarm that had activated and what appeared to be smoke in the aircraft.
Numerous fire companies and rescue units responded along with an AMR ambulance. Once on scene, plans were made to attack the fire, and rescue and treat those on board the aircraft. The plane landed safely and crews made sure the 3 occupants on board were safe and at the same time checked for any signs of heat using thermal imaging cameras and forward looking infrared cameras (FLIR). Crews entered the craft with a water charged hose line and confirmed that there were no obvious signs of heat.
The plane was then moved to it's ramp location at the airport, and the occupants then exited safely from the flight deck. Fire crews thoroughly examined all areas of the interior of the plane for signs of fire and did not find any. The alarm activation was thought to be caused by a problem in the auxiliary power unit on board the aircraft. The scene was turned over to the Spokane International Airport and the investigation will continue.
Cause: Possibly due to a faulty APU on the aircraft.
Damage: Damage total appears to be minimal at this time.
# Firefighters Responding: 29
Dollar Loss: $0
Other Agencies Responding: Fire District 10, Spokane International Airport, AMR ambulance, Airport Police, Airport Operations, TSA.