UPDATE: Fire Burns Restaurant & Apartments Near Gonzaga Universi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Fire Burns Restaurant & Apartments Near Gonzaga University

SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane Fire Department Press Release: 

A late afternoon fire in the Gonzaga University District quickly emptied Spokane Fire Stations and City coverage as 15 fire apparatus and over 51 firefighters were commited to a 3 Alarm Blaze involving 2 structures in the 1400 block of North Hamilton. Fire Dispatch received a call at 16:21 hours that the rear of Geno's restaurant was on fire. Firefighters from Station 2 on North Foothills Blvd. were first to arrive and reported heavy fire attacking the east side of Geno's restaurant and the west side of the adjacent Sinto Apartments. The fire had involved natural gas meters located between the two buildings and the burning gas was fueling the spread of the fire. The fire was quickly upgraded to a 2nd Alarm and Station 2's firefighters attempted to slow the fast moving fire with water carried on Engine 2. A simultaneous search was started to verify that everyone was out of the restaurant and apartments.

Traffic on Hamilton created a gridlock on the street, hindring the fire apparatus and hose line placement. The Spokane Police Department quickly responded to assist in controlling traffic, allowing the large fire apparatus to gain access to needed areas.

Firefighters using hose lines for protection, advanced on the burning gas meters and shut off their supply valves. Fire Command divided resources into two divisions, one to address the restaurant and one for the apartment which now had heavy fire involvement in the attic. A 3rd Alarm was called for additional manpower. Secondary searches were conducted to verify that all occupants were out and safe. Vertical roof ventilation was performed to control the fire spread and allow crews inside the structures to attack and extinguish the fire. It took over an hour of coordinated effort to bring this fire under control. Hamilton was opened up for traffic around 21:30 hours.

Fresh firefighters were brought in to replace exhausted personnel and provide for a "night watch". Fire Investigators are still processing the scene evidence and a fire cause has not been finalized. Power to both structures has been shut down and the 14 tenants living in the apartment building are being assisted by the Local Red Cross. The magnitude of this incident produced numerous challenges for everyone involved, fortunately, there were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. The Spokane Fire Department appreciates the assistance given by both the Spokane Valley Fire Department and Fire District 9 who helped with city protection coverage during this event. On scene assistance from AMR ambulance was also of great help.

Cause:

Currently under investigation by members of the Spokane City Fire Dept.'s Special Investigation Unit.

Damage:

The back portion of Geno's, including the outside dining area, was heavily damaged by fire. The entire restaurant sustained smoke and water damage. The Sinto Apts received severe fire damage to the roof structure and to the apartments located on the second floor at the north end of the structure. All apartment units received some degree of smoke and water damage.51

# Firefighters Responding: 51

Dollar Loss: $ 100,000

Other Agencies Responding:

Fire District 1, Fire District 9, Spokane Police Department, AMR Ambulance

Previous Coverage: 

A fire at Geno's Restaurant the Sinto Apartment Building next door caused significant damage on Saturday. Fire crews responded to the 1400 block of North Hamilton, near Gonzaga University. Everyone is safe and accounted for.Roads in the area are blocked off at this time, and drivers are asked to avoid the area. 

The manager of the restaurant said the fire started outside the buildings in an alley, and within a couple of minutes, the fire engulfed both his restaurant and the Sinto Apartments. Most of the damage is at the apartment building, which holds 8-10 apartment units. There is just minor damage inside of Geno's Restaurant.

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