Working fire at 212 N. Magnolia

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 6:42 p.m.

The Spokane Fire Department dispatched firefighting crews and their apparatus to 212 N. Magnolia at 10:47 a.m. on Saturday, May 31, to a reported structure fire. Engine #7, from the near-by Lower East Side Neighborhood fire station, arrived on scene and reported by radio that there was heavy black smoke being pushed out from the eaves on all sides of the single story wood/frame dwelling. They also reported that they were going to attempt to enter the structure with a pre-connected hose lead and locate the source of the smoke.

The fire was quickly upgraded to a working fire which added additional fire apparatus to the incident. As additional resources were arriving on scene they were given assignments that included roof ventilation, search and rescue, a back-up hose lead to protect the Engine #7 crew, who were now inside and finding rapidly changing fire conditions in the structure. A second fire attack lead was ordered to assist in the fire fight, a water supply was established, a Safety Officer was assigned, and exposure protection assignments were made. Additionally a Rapid Intervention Team was assigned in case any fire fighters became lost or injured inside the structure.

The Incident Commander requested additional resources to the fire scene because the crews were taking a beating due to the warm ambient outside temperature and the labor intensive work they being done to get at the fire that by now had completely taken possession of the attic space of the structure.

The local chapter of the Red Cross was requested to assist the tenants with temporary lodging. After a couple of hours of persistent and aggressive fire fighting the firefighters were able to get the fire knocked down and to a point in the incident where some of the resources could be released to return to their Stations. A fire watch was set up to maintain a Fire Department presence at the scene for much of the afternoon. Two City fire fighters were injured in the fire fight; one of the two was transported by AMR Ambulance to a local Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. The fire damage to the structure and especially to the roof was extensive; nearly all of the roof and its supporting structure were removed and the decision on the building’s future will have to be decided by the owners.

The cause of this fire is being investigated by the SFD Special Investigation Unit. In all, eleven engines, three senior ladders, one heavy rescue truck, and two Command Vehicles were used and 50 firefighters were rotated into the incident.