North Colton Apartment Fire

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Monday, March 21, 2022 at 8:25 a.m.

At approximately 02:00 AM on March 20, 2022, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD), along with automatic aid units from Fire District 9, responded to the 7000 block of North Colton St. for multiple reports of smoke and fire coming from a 2nd story apartment.

Engine companies from the Spokane Fire Department and Fire District 9 arrived within 5 minutes after dispatch, reporting fire alarms sounding and smoke coming from a 3 story wood frame apartment building. After an initial investigation, a fire was discovered in a second-floor unit that had spread to a 3rd floor unit as well as the attic space above. The incident was quickly upgraded to a working fire to ensure additional resources responded to the scene.

Firefighters entered the structure to search for occupants and attack the fire. The fire was quickly knocked down in both apartments and the attic preventing the spread and damage to other areas of the 24 unit building. Simultaneously, firefighters executed a quick and aggressive search of the entire building to ensure all occupants had made it out safely. 14 fire apparatus along with 33 firefighters and 5 AMR units responded to fight the fire and provide EMS support. The fire was contained and extinguished within 20 minutes of units arriving on the scene.

No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported. The origin and cause of the fire are under investigation by the SFD Fire Special Investigation Unit (SIU), however initial indications point to an electrical problem. Two apartment units and the attic space above them were heavily damaged in the fire, while several more suffered from moderate to light smoke damage. Sixteen tenants and four dogs were displaced by the fire and are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

Educational Message for Media:  

Electrical work should be done only by a qualified professional. If you are having recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, experiencing a tingling feeling when you touch an electric appliance, or have flickering lights, call a qualified professional. Major appliances (such as refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, dryers, window air conditioning units, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Extension cords should not be used for major appliances, as they can easily overheat and start a fire. Small appliances should be plugged directly into wall outlets when in use and unplugged when not in use. Wall outlets and light switches should be covered with plates to prevent shocks. Replace wall outlets if plugs-ins do not fit snugly in the outlet. Only buy appliances and other electronics that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. This is especially important to be mindful of when shopping online. Be sure to check electrical cords often. Cords that are cracked, damaged, or loose should be replaced.