South Hill Apartment Fire with Civilian Rescues

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 5:21 p.m.

Just after 2 AM, companies from the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) were dispatched to an apartment fire at 814 South Lincoln Street on Spokane's lower South Hill. SFD dispatchers had received multiple confirmed calls reporting a working fire located on the second floor of the apartment building.

Firefighters arrived within 5-minutes of dispatch to find heavy fire showing from the back and side of the apartment building from both the second and third floors. Using ground ladders, first arriving companies rescued two adults threatened by fire from a second-floor balcony. In addition to the immediate rescue of the two adults, Firefighters simultaneously searched the entire building, extinguished the fire, ventilated the roof and attic space, and protected the nearby home to the north. The building ultimately sustained heavy fire damage to the upper floors and attic. 

In total, 32 SFD firefighters from seven fire stations were assigned to the incident and worked at the scene for over 3 hours. The SFD will maintain a fire apparatus presence throughout the day to continue to check for hot spots and assist the SFD Special Investigation Unit (SIU). 

The nature and cause of the fire remain under investigation. The total value of the structure and contents is estimated to be over 1.5 million, and the loss total was limited to $250,000 with SFD's intervention.

One adult was treated on scene for smoke inhalation by SFD Paramedics and transported to a local hospital by American Medical Response. There were no injuries to firefighters reported. The fire displaced nine adults from seven different apartment units. The Greater Inland Northwest Red Cross is providing shelter and assistance for several of the impacted adults.

This incident highlights the importance of assuring you and your children practicing a home fire escape plan. There should always be two ways out of any room used for sleeping. Children, older adults, and people living with access or functional needs require additional help to wake up and get out. Have an agreed-upon meeting outside, a safe distance from your home where firefighters can easily find you. Remember, smoke and heat rise, so stay low to the ground when exiting the house.

Lastly, the morning's rescues could not have occurred without a staffed, trained, and community-supported Fire Department. We are all thankful for the opportunity to serve you and save lives when needed.