Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager
Monday, April 9, 2018 at 10:04 a.m.
At 3:52 a.m., units from the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) and Spokane County Fire District (SCFD9) were dispatched to the Lilac Plaza Retirement Facility located at 7007 N. Wiscomb St.
First arriving SFD crews reported flames visible from the roof of the 14 story, high-rise structure. The incident was upgraded to a 2nd alarm to summon additional resources to manage the fire and extensive evacuation needs.
Lilac Plaza is home more than 180 residents, many of whom are elderly and at high risk due to health issues. Numerous residents were unable to self-evacuate and had to be carried down the stairwells by firefighters.
One resident was transported to a local hospital for evaluation for smoke inhalation and was subsequently released. There were no reported injuries to firefighters.
The fire was discovered in the elevator head house. The building fresh air intake for the Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) units was located in close proximity to the fire area of origin.
The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for the SFD was on scene and determined the cause of the fire to be electrical issues within HCAV equipment located in the elevator head house.
SFD units remained on scene until 9 a.m.
The incident ultimately required more than 70 Firefighters, fire command staff and AMR ambulance personnel to effectively extinguish the fire, rescue residents and care for those affected by the smoky conditions.
An intimate knowledge of the high risk facility by first arriving fire crews as well as continued training at high rise structures, significantly aided in the successful fire extinguishment, rescue and evacuation of the facility.