Fire on North Monroe intentionally set

Commercial and residential building heavily damaged

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Fire Chief, 509.625.7002

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 12:04 p.m.

A two-alarm fire that heavily damaged a mixed-use commercial and residential building early today was intentionally set. Five people living in the residential portion of the building got out unharmed.

Spokane Fire Department units dispatched to the fire at 2419 N. Monroe arrived on scene within 4 minutes of the 3:06 am call and found a single-story, mixed use commercial and residential structure, heavily involved with fire. The fire was threatening adjacent businesses to the north and south.

After it was determined that all residents had safely evacuated the structure, efforts concentrated on preventing the fire from extending into the adjacent businesses. A total of five residents were displaced by this fire.

The occupants in the apartment closest to the area of fire origin were alerted to the fire by an operating smoke detector and were forced to flee through a rear window. These occupants subsequently alerted their neighbors in the adjacent apartment and all were safely out of the structure when fire crews arrived.

A total of 45 firefighters and command staff responded to this fire, which was declared under control in just under an hour and a half. Avista Utilities secured the natural gas meter and de-energized an electrical line that had fallen as a result of the fire.

The SFD Special Investigation Unit is investigating the fire cause.

The Spokane Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of a properly operating smoke detector. Had it not been for a properly operating smoke detector, this rapidly extending fire could have had a tragic outcome.