Morning Fire Forces Residents From Apartments On So. Hill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Morning Fire Forces Residents From Apartments On So. Hill

SPOKANE. Wash. - Fire crews were called to a fire at an apartment building early Thursday morning on Spokane's lower South Hill. It broke out around 5:15 a.m. at 1312 W. 5th.   

The fire was contained to the basement of the building that contains six apartment units. All 20 residents were safely evacuated.

Fire officials told KHQ's Blake Jensen at the scene that this is the second time in two weeks that there's been a fire at this address. The previous fire started in some trash behind the building. 

No word yet on what sparked the fire.

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PRESS RELEASE

At 5:18 AM, October 6, 2011, the Spokane Fire Department responded to a reported fire at 1314 W. 5th Avenue on Spokane's lower south hill. Engine and Ladder 4 arrived first on-scene from their Browne's Addition station within four minutes and reported heavy smoke and fire from the basement and first floor of a large two and one-half story wood frame apartment house.

As additional fire crews and command staff arrived, they were assigned to the multitude of tasks that needed to be completed at a fire in this type of construction and occupancy. While crews were stretching hose leads to multiple floors in an attempt to cut off the fire's advance, other crews were searching the entire structure for victims. Fortunately, all occupants had safely exited the smoke-filled building.

The fire, which started in the basement, traveled up through an interior wall and was burning into the first and second floors, where crews were able to extinguish the fire before it got into the attic.

Fire crews will remain on-scene throughout the morning completing overhaul of the burned area and conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire. Although damage to the structure and contents was moderate in extent, the integrity of the utilities within the structure was compromised. As a result, none of the occupants will be able to inhabit their apartments until repairs and inspections can be made.

The Red Cross is assisting as many as eighteen displaced occupants, including at least one family with children. In all, two ladder trucks, five engines, one heavy rescue and two battalion chiefs responded to this fire. There were no reported injuries to occupants or firefighters.

Cause:
The cause of this fire is currently under investigation by the Spokane Fire Department's Special Investigation Unit.

Damage:
Damage to the structure was confined to a basement wall and a first floor wall and floor area, with smoke damage on all but the third floor.

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