Tour Commander, 509.625.7100
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 3:27 p.m.
At 5:17 PM during the Tuesday evening commute, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) responded to a 911 call reporting a fire in brush-covered terrain near East Cleveland Avenue/North Ruby Place. The first company arrived within four minutes and reported a small, fast-moving fire in moderate brush threatening homes on East Euclid Avenue.
The incident commander ultimately upgraded the incident to a second alarm, summoning resources from twelve SFD Fire Stations and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). While companies of firefighters scrambled through rugged terrain to attack the wildland fire, a synchronized plan also placed SFD resources at residences located on the hillside above the fire to protect defendable structures. Six SFD brush engines and three teams of firefighters from DNR flanked the flames with great precision as structural companies successfully stretched hose lines from Euclid Avenue and battled flames in four primary properties.
The structures directly impacted include; two single-family Homes (plus garages), one Apartment Complex, and one Restaurant. Estimates of individual damage are still being calculated. The damage ranges from minor/significant exterior radiant heat damage, severe smoke damage, roof damage, and structural damage to the interior of a residence. The damage from the fire will likely surpass $100,000. Despite the financial loss, it is critical to realize that the overall property value saved is estimated to be over $5,000,000. Most importantly, the value of the lives saved due to the Fire Department's actions is immeasurable.
Despite flames being confined within two hours to less than three acres, the tinder-dry brush could not be declared fully extinguished until this evening as DNR hand crews worked the entire edge of the fire with hand tools to assure the fire was completely out. One SFD firefighter received a minor traumatic injury and received medical treatment locally. The firefighter did not return to shift; however, the firefighter is expected to recover and return to full-duty soon.
The cause of this fire remains undetermined and remains an active case with the SFD/SPD Fire Investigation Task Force. Community members with any relevant information to this case are encouraged to contact Crime Check (509-456-2233).
An item of note on this incident:
Washington State Patrol (WSP) Troopers also discovered the fire on patrol and notified their dispatch. Seeing the severity and threat to homes above the fire, they took the initiative to begin evacuating occupants prior to SFD's arrival. As SPD officers arrived, they also controlled traffic and assisted WSP by evacuating residents on the block directly threatened by the fast-moving fire. A special thank you to our law enforcement partners for the assistance. -Well Done!