Suspect Arrested for Setting Fire

Julie Humphreys, Public Safety Communication Manager, 509.625.5868

Tuesday, August 22, 2023 at 4:49 p.m.

Suspect arrested for reckless burning after lighting fire downtown

This morning, 8/22/23, around 1:00am, Spokane Police officers on patrol came upon a large fire behind a billboard at Sprague and Browne. The Spokane Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire, also soaking the surrounding hillside with water. The fire, while large, had not yet spread to the hillside, but did pose a threat to railroad traffic and the surrounding downtown area. The area is often frequented by transients.

Witnesses observed a man state his intention to have a fire and then light one for those gathered at the spot to share. An adult male was arrested for 2nd Degree Reckless Burning.

Two days ago, 8/20/23, another fire began at a site where homeless people were gathered,  prompting Level 2 evacuations in the West Thorpe Rd/ US 195 area of South Spokane. Fire officials determined the fire originated from an illegal transient camp. The investigation into who is responsible for that fire continues.

SPD reminds everyone of the danger posed when lighting fires anytime, but particularly during these dry, hot months. We’ve all witnessed recently  the devastation that fire can cause to lives and property. Please be vigilant, report any suspicious activity, and keep applicable laws, including burn bans, in mind before lighting a fire.  

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Julie Humphreys