Pair of Weekend House Fires Keep Spokane Firefighters Busy

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Monday, January 22, 2024 at 10:56 a.m.

Over the weekend, the Spokane Fire Department responded to two working house fires, keeping our firefighters busy in addition to the increased weather-related calls. The first incident occurred on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 7:38 p.m. in the 1100 block of West 13th Avenue. Occupants of the residence dialed 9-1-1 to report a fire in the basement, believed to be originating from a mattress. Engine 9 and Battalion Chief 1 were on the scene at 7:43 p.m., finding a 1-1/2 story residence with a basement, where smoke and fire were visible from the rear.

Ladder 4 firefighters forced entry into the basement, and Engine 9 deployed a hoseline to the same entrance. Despite heavy smoke and limited visibility, they swiftly located and extinguished the fire while simultaneously searching for potential victims. The fire source, confirmed from a mattress, was removed to ventilate the home. The incident was controlled in under ten minutes with no reported injuries.

The cause was established as the mattress being too close to a baseboard heater, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a 3-foot clearance between heat sources and combustible items. The Red Cross assisted three adult occupants with temporary housing. Avista Utilities and the Spokane Streets Department addressed utility and road icing concerns from suppression activities.

The second fire occurred on Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 12:17 p.m. in the 2200 block of West Gardner Avenue. Multiple callers reported heavy smoke and flames from a residence. Firefighters arrived within five minutes, finding a 1-1/2 story residence with a basement and intense fire at the rear. Engine 4 initiated a fire attack with a hoseline, while Ladder 4 searched for victims. Quint 13 firefighters laddered the roof and cut ventilation holes, and Engine 1 secured a water supply. The fire was extinguished in 15 minutes, and no injuries were reported.

Challenges included downed live electrical service lines and burning propane tanks venting liquefied gas contents. The fire's cause is under investigation, and while damage estimates are pending, extensive fire, smoke, and water damages were observed. Avista Utilities responded to secure utilities, addressing the downed lines and ensuring safety for firefighters and investigators, combing through the fire debris for evidence of a cause.

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