Saturday Evening Apartment Fire Displaces Two Occupants

Justin de Ruyter, PIO

Monday, June 10, 2024 at 2:50 p.m.

On Saturday evening, June 8, 2024, at 11:45 p.m., the Spokane Fire Department was dispatched to the 500 block of South Elm Street in response to a report of smoke inside a structure. According to SREC dispatch, the fire was in a six-unit apartment building, with smoke visible from the exterior and all occupants evacuated.

Ladder 4 arrived on the scene within five minutes of dispatch and reported a two-story building with smoke from the roof and gable vents. While Ladder 4 entered the building to confirm the evacuation of occupants, Engine 4 arrived and began stretching a hoseline for fire attack. Additional companies secured a water supply from the nearest hydrant, stretched more hoselines for fire attack and safety, and started cutting holes in the roof for ventilation.

Interior firefighters initially reported smoke in one unit but discovered heavy fire in the attic and knee wall spaces on the second floor. The fire was knocked down and controlled within an hour of arrival, preventing it from spreading to other structures.

A fire investigation determined that an overloaded circuit in the building's historic wiring caused the fire. Damage estimates are $200,000, with $100,000 in property saved. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported during the incident. The American Red Cross was called to assist with housing for two adults displaced by the fire.

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