Garage Fire Quickly Controlled, House Protected

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 8:51 a.m.

Yesterday afternoon, December 22, 2021, at 4:55 PM, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) was dispatched to the 1200 Block of East Ermina Avenue for a reported building fire behind the address. Several SFD companies arrived at the scene within five minutes. The initial incident commander reported smoke present in the general area of the dispatched address. Still, the origin was not immediately discernable due to heavy brush, trash, and obstructions such as fences and vehicles. 

As firefighters searched properties through significant obstructions, they discovered a two-car garage on fire that immediately threatened a nearby residence. Firefighters rapidly coordinated the evacuation and protection of the home adjacent to the garage. At the same time, later arriving companies were deployed to lay large-diameter hose lines from their engines, down alleyways, and into tactical positions to stop the fire's progress. Despite a large amount of fire and smoke in the structure, firefighters entered to search the area for victims and limit damage to the contents with aggressive firefighting.  

Despite the tactical challenges of accessing this location, the cold weather, ice, and being forced to work close to the neighborhood's utility lines, SFD limited the damage to the building of origin and did so without incurring any injuries.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Red Cross was notified to potentially assist the residents if electrical service could not be reactivated.  

Spokane's seasonal cold weather can often bring heavy snow, ice, and wind. These conditions are everyday situations for our community to experience and frequently can even become routine. However, it is essential to remember that potentially dangerous situations can occur when those conditions cause power lines to fall. The SFD and our partners at Avista remind everyone that downed power lines are dangerous. Never touch them. We should always assume that a fallen power line is live and follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid touching the downed line with your hand or an object, such as a stick, broom, or pole.
  • Avoid touching anything, such as a fence, car, object, equipment, or anyone in contact with a fallen power line.
  • Keep children and pets away from fallen electric lines.
  • Avoid driving over a fallen power line.
  • Report the down powerline immediately through 911 to make Avista and the City of Spokane public safety and public works personnel aware of the danger. During significant outages, downed power line calls are triaged for criticality (fire risk, access, impact, etc.), but knowing about the lines allows us to respond safer and plan better. 

For more information on electrical safety visit