String Of Business Fires In Colville: Are They Arson? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

String Of Business Fires In Colville: Are They Arson?

Posted: Updated:

COLVILLE, Wash. – When Saundra's Furniture store in Colville suddenly went up in flames Saturday night, a lot of people who live in the small town began to wonder if an arsonist had struck again. 

There is no official word yet from fire investigators as to what caused that fire, but residents reported seeing a suspicious car parked outside just seconds before the flames erupted. 

It's an all-too-familiar scenario for many in Colville, including the owner of Davis Auto Repair, Joe Schultz.  Six weeks ago, it was his business on fire. 

"I got a call at 3 in the morning, and I came down here and the whole back of the building was on fire," he told KHQ. 

A few minutes before his shop burned, Schultz said another fire broke out at a trucking company just outside of town.  Firefighters were just clearing that scene when the call at his shop came in. 

"Is this related?  It has to be.  Colville doesn't have a structure fire for eight months, and then they have three in six weeks?  Come on!" Shultz said. 

Schultz said whoever did it broke in to his shop and stole $15,000 in tools before setting the large bay on fire.  Six customer cars were inside – and all but one was lost.  With the damage to the building, cars and tools, damages total more than half a million dollars.  Repairs are now underway, and are expected to take another two months to be finished. 

But he says, he's lucky the fire was put out so quickly.  If it hadn't been, he would have lost his livelihood of 26 years. 

"Ten more minutes and we would have lost the office and everything.  But we're lucky, we can keep going," he added. 

But the owners of Saundra's Furniture aren't so lucky.  As investigators look into a cause, the building will likely have to be knocked down because it's not structurally safe, and all the inventory inside is gone. 

"I have faith in our law enforcement officers," Shultz added.  "I believe they're going to catch whoever did this.  It's a small community, and people hear things.  Eventually they're going to get caught." 

He's just hoping whoever may be behind the string of fires is caught before there's the potential for a fourth.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dog found nearly dead with gunshot wounds still needs a home

    Dog found nearly dead with gunshot wounds still needs a home

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:21 PM EDT2014-09-13 00:21:26 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you may remember Bella, the American Staffordshire Terrier that stole our hearts after she was found by a family camping in the woods near Coeur d'Alene beaten, starving and nearly dead from two gun shot wounds. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you may remember Bella, the American Staffordshire Terrier that stole our hearts after she was found by a family camping in the woods near Coeur d'Alene beaten, starving and nearly dead from two gun shot wounds. The family who found her, rushed her to the vet and somehow she survived. >>>ADOPT BELLA>>> >>
  • First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:44:21 GMT
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.>>
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.
    >>
  • WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-09-12 00:52:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • RANKING: The states with the rudest drivers

    RANKING: The states with the rudest drivers

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 1:09 AM EDT2014-09-17 05:09:55 GMT
    KHQ.com The state of Idaho appears to be known for two things: Potatoes and rude drivers. Online insurance company Insure.com has come out with a list that ranks the rudest drivers in the country and Idaho tops the list.>>
    KHQ.com The state of Idaho appears to be known for two things: Potatoes and rude drivers. Online insurance company Insure.com has come out with a list that ranks the rudest drivers in the country and Idaho tops the list.>>
  • Some businesses ban E-cigarettes inside

    Some businesses ban E-cigarettes inside

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-09-17 03:14:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Grant County Health District passed an ordinance that regulates the sale, distribution, and use of electronic cigarettes. That means starting January 1, 2015, people will no longer be able to smoke e-cigarettes indoors or any other place where regular cigarettes are banned in Grant County.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Grant County Health District passed an ordinance that regulates the sale, distribution, and use of electronic cigarettes. That means starting January 1, 2015, people will no longer be able to smoke e-cigarettes indoors or any other place where regular cigarettes are banned in Grant County.>>
  • "No guns allowed" sign stirs controversy

    "No guns allowed" sign stirs controversy

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-09-17 02:59:38 GMT
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Buffalo Wild Wings opened it's doors Labor Day weekend in Coeur d'Alene, and on the door is a sign that reads; "Buffalo Wild Wings inc, Bans Guns On These Premises." The sign was met with a mix of responses from people in the area with some, like Dave Allbrook. "I'm okay with that, I think it depends on the owners of the restaurant, whether or not they want to do that.">>
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Buffalo Wild Wings opened it's doors Labor Day weekend in Coeur d'Alene, and on the door is a sign that reads; "Buffalo Wild Wings inc, Bans Guns On These Premises." The sign was met with a mix of responses from people in the area with some, like Dave Allbrook. "I'm okay with that, I think it depends on the owners of the restaurant, whether or not they want to do that.">>