Commercial Fire Burns, Firefighters Narrowly Escape Injury

Justin de Ruyter, PIO

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 10:13 a.m.

On April 29th, At 11:48 a.m., the Spokane Fire Department received a call from employees at the US Bank branch on 2807 East 29th Avenue, smelling smoke inside the building. Further reports informed responders that all employees had evacuated outside and reported seeing smoke and flames from the attic. By 11:53 a.m., Engine 14 had arrived and observed black smoke coming from the eaves, while Ladder 1 arrived and cut a ventilation hole in the roof to aid interior firefighters in accessing the fire from below.

Recognizing the severity of the situation, a second alarm was sounded at 12:12 p.m., summoning additional firefighters and resources. Just moments after the extra help was requested, a catastrophic roof collapse occurred, with eight firefighters still inside, prompting a "Mayday" call. Thankfully, only one firefighter was temporarily trapped, and the other firefighters were able to quickly free him of the debris. All interior firefighters were then able to self-evacuate with no injuries.

Following the collapse, firefighters shifted to a defensive stance, deploying aerial master streams to direct water into the building through the roof openings. The three firefighters involved in the collapse were promptly examined by their peers on-site, confirming no injuries.

Fire crews will remain on the scene throughout the night to ensure all hotspots are fully extinguished while fire investigators continue to assess the aftermath. A cause for the fire will be determined and released in due course. Unfortunately, the building is anticipated to be deemed a total loss, but thankfully, there were no reported injuries among civilians or firefighters.

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