Tour Commander, 509.625.7100
Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:15 p.m.
At approximately 6:15 pm last evening, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) responded to Mission Avenue and Washington Street for a 911 report of smoke visible in a large building. The caller stated smoke could be seen emanating from an apartment window on the 2nd floor, and an audible fire alarm was sounding. Firefighters arrived within five minutes to find a working fire on the 2nd floor of a three-story apartment building. The building is a community of 32 one-bedroom apartment units protected by a fire and life safety system, including a commercial fire sprinkler system.
The fire sprinkler successfully activated and kept the fire's growth under control until firefighters reached the apartment and thoroughly extinguished it. Over 30 firefighters were needed to search the unit involved, completely evacuate the nearby apartment units, and survey the unit's damage. The fire displaced two residents directly; however, due to the elevator needing repairs the incident, up to six more disabled residents may need to be temporarily relocated. All of the victims from the incident have accepted assistance from the Greater Inland Northwest Chapter of the Red Cross. No injuries to civilians or firefighters occurred, and firefighters rescued three cats in the building.
The SFD Special Investigations Unit has determined the incident's nature to be accidental and cause attributed to a candle too close to combustibles.
The SFD reminds our community that when using lit candles, to place them in sturdy, safe candle holders that will not burn or tip over. Although we prefer battery-operated flameless candles, if candles are used, please keep them at least 12 inches from materials that can burn and never leave a candle unattended.